Our members jobless, consider ‘Diaspora Window’ option for us, BDCs tell CBN

BUREAU de Change operators, (BDC) are calling on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to consider the Diaspora Window option for their members, saying many of them are out of job.

The President of the Association of Bureau de Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Aminu Gwadabe, told the ICIR that since the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cut off dollar supply to them, many of its members had had no means of livelihood.

“The ban has rendered several of my people jobless,” Gwadabe said.


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He urged the Federal Government to give the BDC operators the diaspora window that would enable them return to business.

He stressed liquidity was scarce because ABCON members did not have access to the diaspora window.

Gwadabe said, “Countries like India and Lebanon have bought these windows to use. We are faced with many challenges via trading. We encounter difficulties with the diaspora window, export proceeds number and oil incomes. This is why liquidity is scarce.”

He said election year usually fuels the suspicion that money had been pumped into the forex market.

This, he said, is coupled with porous borders where importation may be rife, with emotions impacting on this speculation.

“However, we are hoping for the central bank to solve the issue of the high rate of naira to dollar in the parallel market. They have done it before in 2016,” he said.

The CBN had last July officially called off the processing of applications for BDC licences in the country, saying bureaux de change had become a conduit for illicit forex flows and graft.

Despite the move, the inflation rate has failed to drop, spiralling to 16.82 per cent in April, as the value of the naira continued to drop, exchanging this month for about N595 per dollar.

Many industry analysts say the government needs to revive the production side of the economy to deal completely with the foreign exchange challenge.

The analysts say Nigeria must go beyond addressing the challenge and fixing the productive and industrial aspects of the economy.

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“All these years, we have been addressing mostly financial issues such as the exchange and interest rates, whereas these are just indicators,” said a financial and management consultant and former Presidential Adviser, Biodun Adedipe.

According to Adedipe, every economy sits on a tripod, which comprises production, consumption, and trade.

He said, “When your economy begins to tilt more towards consumption than what you produce, then there’s a disconnect. It reflects in your trade and it will be more controlled by external vulnerabilities.

“This shows and exposes lots of imbalances in trade, payments and the exchange value of your currency. It is because of these imbalances that we are having all these crisis in FX.

“We need to fix our industrial sector to lessen our import bill and put less pressure on our foreign reserve.”




     

     

    At the recent Nigeria Economic Summit, a professor of Economics and head of the Economic Advisory Council, Doyin Salami, advised the CBN to focus less on the demand management side of the foreign exchange market and more on supply management.

    A research analyst at GDL Nigeria, Omobola Adu, also posited that Nigeria needed to pay attention to economic diversification.

    “To solve our FX crisis, we need to address the imbalance between supply and demand. One way is by working towards achieving diversification of our export by-product and pricing denomination.

    “The more naira-priced products we can export, the stronger our currency will be,” Adu said.

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    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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