BDCs Harp on Review of Exchange Rate Band


Obinna Chima

The President of Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe has reiterated the need for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to review the exchange rate band at which Bureaux de Change (BDCs) buy dollars to align with commercial banks’ buying rate.

Gwadabe was quoted to have made this call in a statement ahead of the 261st meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) scheduled to commence next Monday.

The ABCON boss said BDC operators still buy dollars from International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) as directed by the CBN at N360/$ and sell at N361.5/$ whereas commercial banks buy at N357/$ and sell at N360/$.

He therefore urged the CBN to merge the BDCs and bank rates to achieve market harmony and level playing field for all stakeholders.

He said the underlying market intrigues and political anxieties in the countrywere pointers that the CBN needs to listen to ABCON demand and merge both rates in the interest of the naira and economy.

Gwadabe said leaving the rates as they are presently, does not allow healthy competition between both segments of the market.

According to him, the rising naira liquidity, high demand for dollars in the travel seasons, payment of school fees for students studying abroad and rising forex demand at the retail end of the market remain big concerns for exchange rate stability.

Gwadabe however cited the growing fiscal buffers which have seen the foreign exchange reserves hit $47.8 billion and the financial discipline seen in current administration as big plus for the economy and naira’s stability.

He also said rising oil prices will continue to arm the CBN with required ammunition to tackle any act that will hurt the system.

Oil prices were projected to hit $85 per barrel by July and have remained above $78 per barrel in the last few days.

Gwadabe said the economic war between America and China make Nigeria a preferred choice for investment by international firms.

He said the continuous stability at the Investors’ & Exporters’ (I&E) Forex Window and the BDCs subsector will continue to boost investors’ confidence in the economy while improving capacity in the manufacturing sector.