The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has applauded the Central Bank of Nigeria for licensing 11 additional International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) to operate in Nigeria.
The trade group described the development as part of efforts to liberalise the foreign exchange market, ensure liquidity and make foreign exchange more readily available to low end users.
“We believe that this policy decision is a step in the right direction in ensuring that remittances from Nigerians in the diaspora remain a viable source of foreign exchange for the Nigerian economy.
“However, we would like to counsel that the Central Bank of Nigeria reconsiders its stance in its earlier press release (Ref: CCD\GEN\02-08-2016\01) where it stated as follows:
“(IMTOs) are required to remit foreign currency to their respective agent banks in Nigeria for disbursement in Naira to the beneficiaries while the foreign currency proceeds are to be sold to Bureaux De Change operators, for onward retail to end users.
“It is our view that this policy will put price control and determination in a few hands and create an enabling environment for sharp practices within the forex parallel market. We counsel that beneficiaries of foreign currency proceeds be allowed to determine when they sell their proceeds and at what rate. This will create a situation of multiple supplier/sellers to meet the existing demand in the parallel market and relieve the pressure on the inter-bank window.’’
NACCIMA noted that the policy as contained in the said circular will constitute a disincentive to the beneficiaries of the inflow and ’’they may consider other alternatives, which could be counterproductive and divert the inflows to unproductive ventures. This may lead to continuing increase in the price of the foreign exchange.’’
It said as a leading member of the organised private sector, its commitment remains the provision of an enabling environment for free enterprise and competitive markets that promote mobility of products, capital, labour and knowledge through simple, transparent and uniformly applied regulatory systems.