By Babajide Komolafe
Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has called for radical implementation of the power sector reform program to ensure access to stable electricity supply for households and businesses.
The Association also urged BDCs to apply the principle of currency diversification to mitigate the risk of currency fluctuations arising from uncertainties from socioeconomic and political development in the United States and in Europe.
The Association made this call in its Quarterly Economic Report for the first quarter of 2019 (Q1’19).
The Association noted that Nigeria’s score of 35 in terms of ease of getting electricity, as indicated by the World Bank Ease of Doing Business report, is lower than the average for Sub-Saharan Africa and much lower than other comparable middle-income countries, with South Africa having a score of 63 and India having a score of 85.
It stressed that access to stable electricity is one of the key challenges and constraints for doing business in Nigeria and hence a critical area of focus for the government in order to sustain ongoing economic recovery.
ABCON stated: “ With the electoral victory of the incumbent government, ABCON review is recommending attention in the following sectors for full recovery from the recent recession: Radical implementation of the power sector reform program to ensure access to stable electricity supply for businesses and comprehensive diversification of the economy.”
Stressing the need for BDCs and other players in the foreign exchange market to be wary of the risk of currency volatility, ABCON said, “Giving the uncertainties observed from the socioeconomic/political environments in Europe and US/China relationships, currencies will be prone to undue volatility and fluctuations. British pounds position might be higher in risk due to the uncertainties surrounding BREXIT thus, BDC forex dealers are advised to apply the principles of diversification of portfolio of currencies to reduce the financial risks during second quarter of the year (Q2’ 19).”
On the focus of the Association in Q2’19, ABCON President, Dr. Aminu Gwadabe said that the focus on automation and education for players, which commenced with the launch of the ABCON’s Automation portal in Q1’19, will be sustained in Q2’19. He disclosed that the Association is presently reviewing its live exchange rate platform, naijabdcs.com, with a view of introducing an improved and upgraded version with additional features and attractive design that delivers more value to foreign exchangers’ users across the country.