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BDCs’ Recall To Forex Market Boosts Naira Recovery – Operators

The Association of Bureaux de Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has lauded the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to recall Bureaux De Change (BDCs) into the mainstream forex market, describing the move as a major factor in ongoing exchange rate stability.

ABCON President, Dr. Aminu Gwadabe, in a statement, said aside monetary policy tightening that led to interest rate hike and more investment in government instruments and clearance of $7 billion forex backlog forward commitments, the recall of the BDCs has significantly boosted dollar liquidity at the retail end of the forex market.

Gwadabe therefore expressed ABCON’s gratitude to the Cardoso-led CBN and other related agencies for the recognition of BDCs as the third leg of the foreign exchange market and an effective exchange rate transmission mechanism in forex management.

He said: “The reconsideration of the BDCs into the main stream foreign exchange market has not only demystified illegal economic behaviours such as  hoarding, rent seeking, round tripping and FX holding position, but also led to the emergence of  exchange rate convergence.”

Gwadabe said that the stability in exchange rate has already started to have positive impact on the prices of goods and services. For instance the price for international school fees has dropped by 15 per cent; cost of medical tourism reduced by 20 per cent and prices of air fares for local and international trips dipped by 25 per cent.

He said: “The current developments in the foreign exchange market has started reigning in inflation as prices of most necessities are becoming relatively lower in the market.

In a most serious note, the positive impacts include also heighten confidence of the public in the local currency as it eliminates currency substitution behavior which hitherto being adding pressure on our local currency”.

Gwadabe said the success story is unending as naira trades at N1,255/$ on Saturday, even lower than N1,269.765 rates BDCs were advised to sell.

Describing the ongoing market development as revolutionary, Gwadabe  said stable naira will attract more foreign portfolio inflows to the economy.

He said the naira has appreciated from February low of N1,915/$ to N1,255/$ representing N660 gain, which is significant by all measures.

He said the gains of the CBN under Cardoso to recognise the power of BDCs in securing stable exchange rate can not be over emphasised.

He also said that previous practice where Nigerians based in Dubai bring dollars home to sale at high rates has ceased, after the rapid recovery of the naira against dollar.

Going forward, he said that prospects for forex earnings are promising, with foreign portfolio investments on the rise and over $1.5 billion inflows few days after Monetary Policy Committee raised interest rate by 200 basis points.

He said  increases in foreign exchange inflows into the economy through the CBN’s monetary instruments is helping to boost foreign reserve accretion and gives the apex bank the necessary power to continue to defend the local currency.

”It is our view that the collaboration between the BDCs, CBN , National Security Adviser, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), as well as support from the Presidency helped in creating the opportunity for building the foundation of this achievement. Overall, the combination of these actions have induced an atmosphere of public calmness, confidence, hopes and liquidity in the markets.

We call therefore on the CBN to continue to calibrate the existing relationship between the BDCs and the apex bank to sustain the success story,” he advised.

On the recent reforms in the financial industry, the ABCON chief reiterated the resolve of ABCON to continually collaborate with the CBN in carrying all its members along in achieving a win-win situation. This is expected to help in safeguarding investments, harnessing skills of BDC operators and boosting employment within the financial services sector.

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