President, Association of Bureaux Des Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to harmonise the rate at which it sells foreign exchange to commercial banks and its members.
Gwadabe told newsmen yesterday in Lagos, that the disparity between the rates had forced about 50 per cent of its members to boycott the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) window.
According to him, the CBN sells Forex to banks at N357 per dollar, while banks are expected to sell at N360, on the other hand, BDCs buy at N360 from the CBN and are expected to sell at N362.
The financial expert noted that its members incurred losses the moment they accessed the CBN window, which had forced many of them out of market.
“The direct implication of this will be the loss of about 20,000 jobs nationwide as the tactical edging of BDCs out of the market will result in the sacking of its workers across the nation,’’ Gwadabe said.
The ABCON chief appealed to the CBN to make BDCs direct agents of International Money Transfer Service Operators (IMTSO) since they were fully automated, and transparency had remained their watchword.
Gwadabe explained that the rate of disparity in accessing the CBN window had elevated parallel market operators to the delight of the enemies of the Naira.
He said that the edging of BDCs out of the market would inhibit financial inclusion as BDCs make N30 billion weekly turnover which translates to commission for the commercial banks.
Gwadabe said that BDCs remain the potent agent for transparency and price stability in the market as exemplified during the peak of the recession when exchange rate volatility was blown out of proportion.
He noted that if the parallel market, which selling rate was presently lower than that recommended for the BDCs, was allowed to dictate the market price, there may be the resurgence of fake currency in the market.
“Allowing the parallel market operators to dictate the price in the market will erode investors’confidence and that of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the nation’s economy.
“This also will be counterproductive to the mandate of the CBN and that of the IMF.
“It will run counterproductive to the IMF mandate of price discovery and stability.
“Allowing the parallel market to dictate the price will also fuel the existing multiple exchange rate regime,’’ Gwadabe said.
The ABCON chief recalled that at the peak of recession, with an external reserve of 27 billion dollars, and dwindling oil revenue, BDCs made a cogent suggestion to the CBN that gave birth to accessing the IMTSO window.
He said that accessing the window became an alternative to the depletion of the external reserve.
According to him, BDCs have remained strategic partners with the CBN in ensuring price stability and transparency in the foreign exchange market.
Our correspondent reports that prior to the commencement of aggressive interventions of the CBN in the nation’s foreign exchange market in Feb. 2017, the naira had exchanged at a scandalous N520 to a dollar.
At the peak of dwindling oil revenue, the BDCs had partnered strategically with the CBN to ensure that proceeds of IMTSOs were used to intervene in the FOREX market.
For a sustained partnership between the BDCs and the CBN, rate harmonisation should be looked into to save the FOREX market from the jaws of currency speculators who manipulate the market with the aid of parallel market operators.
Border Closure: ECOWAS Sets Up Committee To Investigate Nigeria
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has set up a committee to study and make full report on Nigeria’s land border closure with her neighbours.
The ECOWAS Heads of States and Governments agreed on the decision to set up a committee last Sunday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at an extraordinary session of ECOWAS leaders convened on the margins of the 33rd AU Summit to discuss the issue and other pressing regional matters.
The committee is headed by President Roch Marc Christian Kabore of Burkina Faso.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu confirmed in a statement in Abuja on Monday that Nigeria’s Foreign Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama told journalists after a three-hour closed-door session that the meeting was attended by President Muhammadu Buhari and chaired by the ECOWAS Chairman, President Mohamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic.
Onyeama said, “The President of Burkina Faso is charged with undertaking a full study of the situation, make a report and then we take it from there”.
On when the report will be presented to ECOWAS Heads of States and Governments, the minister said, “as soon as possible, there are no timelines. But he is supposed to start very quickly, study the situations from all the affected countries and present his reports”.
The statement also explained that the meeting discussed West Africa’s new single currency (Eco) and the situation in Gunnea Bissau after the presidential election.
On the Eco currency, the foreign minister said, “Nothing has changed in respect of Nigeria’s position.
By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
One Billion Oil Barrels Found In North-East – FG
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva said on Wednesday that the nation’s oil and gas sector has worsened as the uncertain fiscal environment put a damper on investment.
The minister also disclosed that about a billion barrels of crude oil have been discovered in the North East of the country, adding that a lot of resources remained undiscovered in the country.
Sylva, who said these at a press briefing during the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit 2020 in Abuja, lamented that the passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill had been delayed for many years.
He, however, warned that most of the resources might have to be left in the ground if not explored and produced before the world moves away from oil.
Sylva said, “From the evaluation report we are getting, the reserves that has been discovered in the North East is about a billion barrels. And they are beginning to understand the geological structure of that area.
“If there is a lot of exploration, we believe that a lot of oil still remains to be found in Nigeria. Nigeria is not yet a mature territory; it is still very prolific.”
He expressed optimism that the PIB would be passed in six months as “there is a very cordial relationship now between the legislature and the executive.”
He said, “today Nigerians all agree that there is a need for us to pass the PIB. For so long, we have not been able to attract a lot of investment into the oil sector. By the year 2002, our oil reserves stood at around 22 billion barrels, and we were able to grow that reserves to 37 billion barrels by 2007.
“From 2007 to now, we have only been able to grow our reserves from 37 billion barrels to 37.5 billion barrels. Why? Not much investment is coming into Nigeria.”
The minister said, “I actually say we have retrogressed because some time ago, this country was producing up to 2.6 million barrels a day. And I remember a long time ago, we actually targeted that we would be producing three million barrels and by now we should have been producing up to four million barrels a day.”
The minister noted that the country’s gas reserves of 200 trillion cubic feet was found during the search for oil.
We Need Govt’s Support To Survive – Rivers Farmers
Some farmers in Rivers State have urged government at all levels to empower the local farmers, so as to increase farm produce and also generate employment for the citizenry.
The Manager of Iyako Nigerian Enterprise (a fishing firm), Mr Iyalla Ogan said the local farmers need to be assisted with grants by the government.
Ogan said that giving grants to farmers would solve many problems relating to the farming process and also generate employment for many Nigerians.
He said, “I need ocean going vessels that would catch fish in commercial quantity. This would definitely increase export and benefit the state and nation through employment generation and increase in revenue.
“Government should be supportive to farmers and not paying lip services which they never fulfill at any time”.
Ogan called on his fellow farmers to persevere and always look out for opportunities to establish their dreams, saying that “this is the only way satisfaction can come”.
Another farmer, Mrs Tonia Chukwu, who has a poultry farm at Iwofe, Rumuolumini, said that finance has been her problem over the years, lamenting that “lack of finance is responsible for lack of expansion in my firm”.
She said that elected leaders should have the interest of the electorate at heart, noting that selfishness on the part of political leaders has done more harm than good.
Meanwhile, another farmer, Mr Jonathan Amadi told The Tide that the way farmers in the South-South are treated, is different from the way Northern leaders treat their own farmers.
He called on the government to “provide modern equipment to southern farmers as they do in the North to give us a sense of belonging and help us to increase and expand like others.
“If we produce in quantity, everybody would benefit, ranging from us, the masses and government”.
Editorial5 days ago
Nigeria And US Visa Ban
News5 days ago
Northern Elders Expose Buhari’s Role In Ganduje, Sanusi Rift
News4 days ago
Insecurity: We Want Ogbunigwe, Declare Herdsmen Terrorists, S’East Tells IGP
News4 days ago
Resign Now, Northern Youths Tell Buhari …PDP Reacts As Borno Residents Boo President In Maiduguri …Nigeria’s Security Architecture Has Collapsed -CAN
Business4 days ago
GPHCDA Boss Hails Wike Over Resuscitation Of Cassava Plant
News3 days ago
FG Approves New Uniform For Correctional Service
News3 days ago
Residents Cheer As Wike Inspects Flyover Bridge Project
Sports4 days ago
13 Brigade Emerges 2nd In Army Officers’ Competition