ABCON Boss Urges Nigeria to Take Advantage of Trade War


Obinna Chima

The ongoing trade war between the United States of America, Russia and some Asian countries present Nigeria with some lifetime opportunities that should be explored, the President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Alhaji (Dr) Aminu Gwadabe has said.

According to the ABCON boss, Nigeria has to strategise and capitalise on the emerging global trends to strengthen Naira -Yuan Swap deal.

A statement quoted Gwadabe to have said the fear of the dollar losing its global dominance was real as Russia and Asian countries unite against the United States.

He said Russia and Asian countries were already becoming less reliance on dollars, advising Nigeria and other emerging markets not to be caught unaware.

Gwadabe said the insistence by Russia and China that the global economic system must change in such a way as to stop the United States from being able to exert economic pressure on countries in the world, was an indication of how both countries can pursue the agenda, which has certain implications for Nigeria economy, its currency and financial system.

Gwadabe noted that rather than progressing towards a deal, and despite reaching a tentative truce at the G20 summit in Osaka, the United States and China are as entrenched in their positions as ever.

“China is insisting that as a prerequisite to a deal, the US remove existing tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods. Again, China is unlikely to do more to placate the US and bring the crisis to an end,” he predicted.

Speaking further, he said after one year of the intense trade war between both parties, it would be difficult for the United States to remove all the tariffs that have been implemented so far to allow for final settlement.

He disclosed Nigeria was already benefiting from the crisis, adding that it has led to continuous rise in crude oil prices, which is good for the naira and Nigerian economy.

Gwadabe said local banks stands to gain more from the $2.5 billion currency swap deal between Nigeria China as the economies of both countries need each other, and so do their businesses and banks.

“The banks in both countries are not only going to be earning fees from the ensuing transactions, but will begin new lending to businesses. It was these gains and the need to keep the naira stable prompted the apex bank to sign the bilateral currency swap agreement with the People’s Bank of China (PBoC),” he added.

He urged the federal government to take steps towards diversifying the economy.

“Other great areas to focus for diversifying our foreign exchange earnings include promoting Diaspora remittances for economic buffer and foreign reserves accretion as seen in India and United Arab Emirates where migration remittances have lifted their economies,” he said.

He said that effort should also be intensified by fiscal authorities in empowering the youths through job creation and higher productivity.

“The ABCON Executive Council under my leadership will continue to promote improved capacity and technological advancement among BDC operators. We are also committed to better skills acquisition for BDC operators to elevate them to viable monetary regulatory partners and lead player in exchange rate stability,” he said.