• Thursday, May 30, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

British-Nigeria Business Network sees huge investment benefits in Nigeria’s FX unification

British-Nigeria Business Network sees huge investment benefits in Nigeria’s FX unification

The merging of all foreign exchange windows at Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has attracted the attention of a prominent independent business think tank, the British-Nigeria Business Network (BNBN). The group says the move will open many investment windows for Nigeria.
The group has also heaped encomiums on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for what it called the courage to confront a critical problem facing the Nigerian economy.

The remark was conveyed by the Executive Director of BNBN, Ifeanyi Ubani who visited Nigeria from the United Kingdom.

In a telephone interview, Ubani said one of the President’s primary but commendable initiatives was the unification of exchange rate.

The organisation which comprised eminent economic diplomats and financial experts, commended President Tinubu’s administration for what it called its forward-thinking approach to economic development. The Executive Director emphasizing that the measures taken thus far are essential for steering the nation towards sustained growth and stability.

The BNBN boss described the foreign exchange crisis in Nigeria as a long-standing one, but pointed out that the new policy was aimed at streamlining Nigeria’s multiple exchange rates. He said the crisis had negatively impacted businesses and investment in the country.

Read  also: Naira fall continues after Cardoso becomes acting CBN governor

“The President has opened the Naira flow in such a way that you no longer have parallel Naira flow. It’s no longer a situation where the CBN has different rates and the black market have different rates.

“He has rectified the Naira rates which makes it easier for people who want to invest in Nigeria to say, ‘This is the amount and rate with which to do your proposal and feasibility, which can stand between one to five years,’” he said.

Ubani added that the development was a sharp departure from the past where “You are, for instance, doing the Nigeria rate of say N450 to a Dollar and the parallel market is N750,” he said.

Ubani, Country Representative of the British African Business Alliance (BABA) who described the exchange rate unification as simply exciting, also lauded the policy as a crucial step toward economic cohesion.

According to him, unifying exchange rates can foster investor confidence, attract foreign investments, and bolster economic growth.

“Another thing is that President Tinubu has opened what we call the capital and current repatriation flow.

“In the past, before you move in money, or capital in and out of Nigeria, it must go through the CBN and there was so much delay. This had hindered investment. That was why Nigeria had problems.

“President Tinubu’s administration has shown determination to tackle economic challenges head-on, with this latest policy as a testament to their commitment.

“By establishing a unified exchange rate system, the government aims to create a level-playing field for businesses, has reduced market distortions, and has attracted foreign direct investments,” he said.

The Executive Director disclosed that BNBN is a proactive organisation, adding, “We check your steps, check the facts. We’ve been fact-checking on all the meetings President Tinubu has been having with nations. It shows a burning desire to open up Nigeria’s foreign business market.

Read also: Tinubu’s reform pledge in disarray as naira rout deepens, crosses N1,000

“And, truly he has opened that part of the economy where you can bring in your money and take it. Those are two good moves,” said the ambassador.

He further said that President Tinubu has also gone out to invite all the “sensitive countries”, telling them that Nigeria is willing to witness them, stressing that these steps make him proactive.

“Tinubu has indicated his seriousness to do good things for Nigeria. His steps show that he is willing to bring in foreign investors. It indicates his desire to open up the economy,” he said.

The diplomat expressed optimism that the President’s action is a significant move to address economic disparities and enhance financial stability.

“And, truly he has opened that part of the economy where you can bring in your money and take it. Those are two good moves,” said the ambassador.

Meanwhile, the group has revealed how it had worked quietly to smoothen business ties between Nigeria and the UK. Experts observed that in an era of economic globalisation, fostering robust trade and investment relationships between nations is pivotal.

The BNBN under the leadership of Ubani is seen to have been instrumental in enhancing ties and encouraging collaborative ventures between Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

Report available to newsmen shows the proactive efforts led by the BNBN in advancing trade and investment opportunities between these two nations.

The organisation is said to be dedicated to promoting economic cooperation and cultural understanding between Nigeria and the UK. Established with the objective of fostering bilateral trade and investment, BNBN is said to serve as a vital platform connecting businesses, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders from both nations.

The Executive Director is seen in diplomatic circles as one keen on strengthening healthy trade between Nigeria and the UK.

He said the vision and mission of BNBN entail creating an environment conducive to trade and investment, enabling sustainable growth and mutual benefits for both countries.

The group uses tools such as networking events, seminars, and trade missions to build trade between the two nations. These events, said to be actively supported by her partners, British African Business Alliance UK, provide a forum for business leaders, policymakers, and investors from both nations to interact, exchange ideas, and explore potential collaborations.

Read also: Wale Edun blames overdue $6.8bn forward payment for naira slump

Recognising the importance of an enabling policy environment, Ubani said the organization has consistently advocated for policy reforms that support trade and investment.

This, according to him, includes addressing regulatory challenges, tariff barriers, and encouraging government initiatives that promote a conducive business environment.

One of the key roles of the Executive Director is to showcase investment opportunities in Nigeria to UK investors and vice versa. By highlighting the potential sectors for investment and facilitating introductions to local business leaders, BNBN actively promotes foreign direct investment.

Trade missions and delegations are said to be essential tools in fostering collaboration. The Executive Director is understood to lead and support these initiatives, helping companies explore potential markets, establish partnerships, and build trust with their counterparts in Nigeria and the UK.

Recognizing the importance of knowledge sharing, BNBN, under the guidance of the Executive Director, said he organizes training programs and workshops. These initiatives are aimed at enhancing the capabilities of businesses and professionals, enabling them to navigate the complexities of international trade.

Through various strategic initiatives, advocacy efforts, and a commitment to fostering partnerships, the BNBN is seen to contribute significantly to the growth and strengthening of bilateral ties, ultimately benefiting the economies and communities of Nigeria and the UK.