By Babajide Komolafe
BUREAUX De Change operators, under the aegis of Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), yesterday, introduced measures to attract the $35 billion remittance inflow in a bid to stabilise the naira exchange rate and boost confidence in the foreign exchange market.
ABCON President, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, who unveiled these measures during a press conference in Lagos, said part of the measures include weekly publication of a reference foreign exchange rate for the BDC segment of the foreign exchange market.
He said in addition to this, the Association will introduce full automation of BDC operations in Nigeria, saying about 2000 BDCs have already been enrolled on the online platform established for this purpose. “We want you to support our determination to highlight positive rates development in the market through the BDCs Weekly Rate for Media Coverage being launched today. We also seek your support and partnership to assist the CBN and government to eliminate or reduce to the barest minimum activities of parallel market operators.
“We also want to use our partnership with you, to give visibility to registered BDCs in the market and create more awareness on the role of BDCs in selling foreign exchange to the retail end of the market,” he said.
Gwadabe said that the measures were aimed at boosting confidence in the foreign exchange market and hence encourage Nigerians in diaspora to send dollars through the official market, adding, “it is believed that Nigerians in Diaspora remit about $35 billion into the country last year. We believe if all these dollars were remitted through the official channel, the naira will appreciate significantly, and the gap in exchange rates would be eliminated.”
He noted that the challenge facing the nation’s exchange rate, especially the recently introduced flexible exchange rate regime was liquidity, adding that the solution is to ensure transparency via harmonisation of exchange rate, which would in turn boost confidence in the market and encourage dollar inflows.
“We urge the regulators and the government to harmonize the multiple exchange rates that pervaded the 2016 fiscal year. We also use this medium to appeal to members of the print and electronic media to adopt a single foreign exchange market rate system in their reporting and completely disregard the rates in the parallel market as it is small in volume, cash base and not recognized by enabling law.
“ABCON believes that despite the challenges facing the economy, the CBN and BDCs will continue to work together and find sustainable solutions that can help the country wriggle out of the ongoing forex crisis and achieve full economic recovery,” he said.