• Thursday, May 30, 2024
businessday logo


BDCs want CBN to put exchange rate below N1,251/$

BDCs want CBN to put exchange rate below N1,251/$

The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), the umbrella body of licensed Bureaux De Change (BDCs), has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to adjust its applicable exchange rate to below N1,251/$ it pegged for the BDCs.

The request followed the unofficial market rates of at N1,235/$. Against this background, the BDCs want a new rate that is lower than the official BDCs applicable buying exchange rate of N1,251/$ (plus 1.5 percent margin) set for the BDCs by the CBN in its latest tranche of intervention.

Read also: CBN sacks 40 more staff in move away from development finance

The group insisted that naira’s speedy recovery, which was faster than expected had made CBN’s selling rate to BDCs very expensive and difficult to offload to retail end buyers that are trooping to the undocumented forex operators for cheaper rates and avoiding the BDCs services.

In a letter to the director, trade and exchange department of the CBN, signed by Aminu Gwadabe, ABCON national president, the association further expressed concerns that many BDCs who funded their accounts for dollar allocations are yet to receive their allocation of dollars to meet up the legitimate critical demand of their clients due to scrutinisation of the BDCs documents for collections at the various designated centres which made the BDCs vulnerable to exchange rate risk and significant loses.

The group insisted that with the naira appreciating across markets, many BDCs who bought dollar at N1,251/$ will lose significant income and capital if they sell at the current open-market rate of N1,235/$ and, therefore, the need for the call for a further review downward of the applicable exchange rate for the period and subsequently to continue to enhance naira sovereignty.

“We discovered a worrisome development where many of our members who paid for dollar allocations at N1,251/$ with a margin of 1.5 percent are yet to receive their disbursement. This is happening in the face of the prevailing open-market rate of N1,235/$ which is lower than the authorised applicable exchange rate by the CBN to the BDCs,” the statement said.

Despite this development, ABCON lauded the CBN leadership for the recall of BDCs into the official FX window and steps taken by the apex bank to strengthen the naira against the dollar and other global currencies.

ABCON said the positive fallout of the CBN’s efforts to strengthen the naira came faster than expected, reiterating its commitment to working with the apex bank to realise the objectives of the government towards exchange rate stability and economic growth.

Read also: Naira now exchanges at 1,245 as BDCs await CBN to adjust rate

ABCON stated that their forecasts in the ongoing market development indicated a willingness of the market to correct itself with a realistic price discovery as the naira was forecast to continue to appreciate further across markets with the increasing sources of foreign exchange inflows aided by the CBN policies

“It is in view of the above market developments that we write to appeal to your good selves for a readjustment and review downwards of our funding rate of the last tranche (2nd bidding) from N1,251/$ further down to reflect the current market rate discovery. This became imperative as it is only the consideration of the readjustment downward that will enable our members to upload their holding positions,” the statement said.

ABCON also requested that the process of payment at the various disbursement centres be reviewed in the immediate time to a medium time automation to achieve enhanced timely payments while also observing the spot nature of our transactions.

The group further requested that based on the offer and acceptance rule, the approval of refunds to those yet to collect disbursement having funded their accounts as it is the market that determines the rate presently be considered going forward.

ABCON also requested that the apex bank introduce cut-off time for payments and collection of bids, adding that the current open-ended system for payments and collection of bids does not make for effective administration and control of the process.

“Consequently, many of our members are jittery to bid/collect their bid for fear of losing money as the current market reality has the potential to force us to sell below cost price and antithetical to recent market price discovery,” the group said.