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Association Tasks CBN On Forex Rates Harmonisation

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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.

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Imported Goods Killing Local Production – Presidency

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The Presidency has frowned at the rate of consumption of imported goods in the country, and has urged Nigerian consumers to change their mindset and patronise locally-produced goods, especially in the agricultural sector, to boost revenue and job creation.
Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed this while speaking at a one-day seminar/exhibition with the theme, “Re-orientation towards ensuring preference and consumption of domestic agro-allied products”, which was organised by Zakclair Investment Limited.
Adesina, who was represented by the Special Assistant to the President on New Media, Tolu Ogunlesi, said more Nigerians would be financially empowered when people patronise locally manufactured goods.
He explained that no nation could truly develop its production capacity when its economy was based on imported products.
The presidential spokesperson observed that most developed nations of the world were those whose economies were based on the local production of goods.
He said the unbridled importation of products was weighing heavily on the country’s foreign exchange reserve.
“We must also be willing to innovate with our local products in ways that can get us a wider audience.
“Instead of expending scarce resources and importing goods and services, we can channel them to create jobs for people. We need to believe more in the value of what is indigenous to us, as a people.
“When we consume locally made products, there will be less pressure on our foreign exchange. In the same breath, the value addition that happens locally means jobs.
“The economic value of consuming locally made goods is in all the jobs that will be created.
“I think that with the kind of market that we have in Nigeria, 200 million people, you can see there is a lot that we can do with domestic products”, Adesuna said.
Delivering the keynote address, the Executive Secretary of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, Prof. Garba Sharabutu, urged stakeholders to stop paying lip service to the efforts to drive the consumption of made-in-Nigeria products, saying “we need to take it from words to action”.
Earlier, the CEO of Zakclair Investment Ltd, Adelabu Abdulrazak, explained that with the country’s ailing economy, there was a need to direct attention to preference and consumption of locally-made products.
“Consequently, we believe there is a need for a discourse in this aspect of our national life with the aim to infuse patriotism, encourage policies that tackle this lifestyle, reorientate our citizens and massively stimulate the growth of our economy,” he said.

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Commission Extends Deadline For Digital Money Operators’ Registration

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The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has announced the extension of deadline for registration of online money lenders and operators, otherwise known as Digital Money Lenders (DML).
Making the registration extension known in a statement that was made available to The Tide at the weekend, the FCCPC Chief Executive Officer, Babatunde Irukera, said the process has been extended to March 27, 2023.
The FCCPC boss stated that the extra time was to ensure that the registration of DML whose registration was still in process was adequately achieved, and to also prevent significant market disruptions.
It is the third time the commission has postponed the deadline for registration, since it enforced compulsory registration in August 2022.
“On December 6, 2022, in furtherance of the collaboration of the Inter-Agency Joint Task Force, the FCCPC extended the deadline for the registration of DML to January 31, 2023.
“This was to ensure the registration of DMLs whose registration was still in process and to prevent significant market disruptions.
“The Commission noted, however, that several DMLs have not yet provided all relevant documentation to complete their registration process.
“To this end, the Commission is further extending the registration deadline to Monday, March 27, 2023″, The statement read in part.
The FCCPC recently released a limited interim regulatory and registration framework for digital lending in order to curb unethical interest rates, violation of consumer privacy, and other unethical lending practices perpetrated by unchecked digital lenders in the country.

By: Corlins Walter

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Manager Clarifies PH Airlines Building Occupancy Issues

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The Port Harcourt Airport Manager, Mr Felix Akinbinu, has given reasons for the delay by airlines operating at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, in occupying the newly commissioned Airport Building.
Noting that airlines still operate from the Terminal building, he said the nature of business operations of airlines is such that makes them operate from the terminal building in order to meet the boarding requirements for passengers.
Akinbinu, who disclosed this while interacting with aviation correspondents, stated that the newly commissioned airlines building is not just for airlines alone.
He said it’s office space for any group or individuals to use, though it bears the name, “Airline Building”.
According to him, the airlines will still operate from the terminal building because the newly commissioned airlines building is to provide additional office space for airlines to accommodate their other activities and staff.
“To be frank with you, what we have in the new airlines building is just eight office space accommodation, and it is not only for airlines, it is open to everyone or group that need an office space.
“It is not that we are ordering the airlines to leave the terminal building, not at all, because they are to operate at the terminal building for the ease of their business and passengers facilitation.
“It is also not an issue of disobedience on their side for still operating at the terminal building. All they will do is to acquire additional office space for their staff and operations”, Akinbinu said.
The Tide’s check earlier showed that the new airlines building is sited at a distance place from the terminal building, which makes it difficult for airlines to easily access, considering their style of business operations.
Some officials of airlines The Tide interacted with stated that they will not operate from the new airlines building because it was sited across the airport major road, distant from the terminal.
They, therefore, urged the airport management to consider the nature of their operations, and make alternative for them.
It would be recalled that the Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Salisu Yadudu, represented by the Director of Operations, Murktar Munye, had at the commissioning ceremony of the airlines building, early December last year, directed the airport manager to ensure that airlines occupy the building immediately.
This, he said, was to decongest the terminal building. But the building is yet to be occupied.

By: Corlins Walter

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