ABCON Calls for Power Sector Reforms


Obinna Chima

The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has called for radical implementation of the power sector reform program in order to ensure access to stable electricity for households and businesses.

The association also urged BDCs to apply the principle of currency diversification to mitigate risk of currency fluctuations arising from uncertainties from socio-economic 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, obtained yesterday.

ABCON 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, was 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 remains 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: “Weighing on the emergence of Nigeria from a recession in 2017, the country’s continued economic recovery will be slow, according to a new economic analysis.

“However, the analysis showed, labor-intensive sectors remained weak, which contributed to an increase in the rate of unemployment and underemployment throughout 2018 into Q1 2019. Level of poverty is also believed to have increased notwithstanding the exit from recession.

“The reviews have identified the power sector as a critical area that government should focus attention to sustain the economic recovery.

“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.”

Continuing, ABCON stated that given the “uncertainties observed from the socio-economic/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.”

On the focus of the association this quarter, according to its President, Dr. Aminu Gwadabe, would be the automation and education for players, which commenced with the launch of the ABCON’s Automation portal in the first quarter.