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BDCs seek single market driven forex rate

By Clara Nwachukwu   |   11 January 2017   |   4:20 am
National Treasurer, Association of Bureaux De Change Operators (ABCON), Gbadamosi Moh-Murtala; Ag.President, Mohammed Gwadabe; and Chairman, South West ABCON, Taiwo Ebenezer, at the maiden interaction with journalists in Lagos, yesterday.

National Treasurer, Association of Bureaux De Change Operators (ABCON), Gbadamosi Moh-Murtala; Ag.President, Mohammed Gwadabe; and Chairman, South West ABCON, Taiwo Ebenezer, at the maiden interaction with journalists in Lagos, yesterday.

Put ideal exchange rate at N400 to $1
Instituting a single market driven foreign exchange (forex) rate has been identified as a major step to stabilising the value of the Naira against other currencies, while also stemming volatility on account of speculations in system.

The Association of Bureaux de Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), who canvassed this yesterday in Lagos, also put the ideal or what it described as the “realistic exchange rate” under the prevailing economic circumstances at N400 to $1. The CBN official market rate is N305 to $1, while banks sell to the BDC at N381. The BDCs have a band of N399, where the parallel market is about N480.
However, the high volatility and multiple exchange rates have become a disincentive to new foreign direct investments, while the uncertainty and rate fluctuations have reduced the capacity of firms to invest in export.

ABCON Ag. President, Mohammed Gwadabe, at a maiden interaction with journalists, said the single market exchange rate is one of the solutions the Association came up with to help stem market volatility.


He also expressed concern that despite series of policies enunciate by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to ensure stability; the forex market still remained highly volatile.

The ABCON boss therefore declared: “Liquidity has shrunk because of the withdrawal of foreign investors from the market, most of them have moved out of the country. And one major factor too, is the drop in crude oil prices in the international market, and the dwindling foreign reserves.”

He expressed regrets that Nigeria has not been able to build strong foreign reserves buffers, to cushion the effects of such instability, where a country like the United Arab Emirates has over $400 billion in its kitty. “And that is a very big buffer for them, as it protects their local currency at any given time,” However, the Deputy Managing Director, Afrinvest Ltd., Victor Ndukauba, in a telephone chart with The Guardian, disagreed with Gwadabe on the single market rate saying it was not possible in a market determined environment.

According to Ndukauba, the best that could happen is a convergence of rates, noting that “price distortion means the market is inefficient and because there is scarcity of dollars because we (Nigeria) are not getting as much dollars as we used to from the sale of crude.”

He also noted that there is lack of confidence in the official forex market, noting that if all the other autonomous sources of forex including Diaspora remittances, which account for up to $22billion are channelled through the official market, then the market will be closer to a convergence.

He argued that a realistic market rate of the Naira can only be determined through the balance of payment transactions, income levels and purchasing power parity, and market integrity, adding that if the inter-bank rate was more transparent, people will be more willing to participate.

“Imagine if Diaspora Nigerians do $1billion monthly, this will boost confidence. But a situation where the parallel market is about N490 to $1, although very ridiculous, people will be tempted to that rate because they will have more value for their money.”


Gwadabe had earlier noted that if ABCON members could have more access to Diaspora remittances the forex market will be more stable, saying, “Imagine where all the $35billion Diaspora remittances quoted by Abike Dabiri had gone through the official market, Nigerian forex market will return to 2008 era where there was only 20kobo difference between the official and parallel market. Even with $1billion monthly we can drive out the parallel market.”

Besides, he added, if more International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOS) in Nigeria, and included in the export proceeds window, the market volatility would be significantly reduced with ABCON members as their agents.

According to Gwadabe, “BDCs are not direct agents of IMTOs and we are automating our processes so we can become their agents. We are discussing with the CBN and IMTOs on the issue and given our members January 31st at the deadline for automation. We want to create transparency in the system and eliminate multiple rates and encourage confidence in the market.”

Last August, the CBN as part of its forex market liberalisation registered 11 new IMTOs to ensure market liquidity and make forex readily available to the end users.




  • vic

    ABCON IS A SELFISH AND A CON ASSOCIATION SEEKING HEFTY GAINS IN THEIR FOREX BUSINESS. THIS,IN EFFECT MEANS OUTRIGHT DEVALUATION OF NAIRA WHICH SHOULD NEVER BE ACCEPTED BY BUHARI AND THE CBN GOVERNOR.

    BY THIS KIND OF STATEMENTS, ABCON IS STILL CHASING THE PARALLEL MARKET TO FIX RATE AT 400 NAIRA TO A DOLLAR. THE FOREX RATE SHOULD BE AT N300 TO A DOLLAR WITH MEASURES TO STRENGTHEN IT FURTHER.

    PARALLEL OR NO PARALLEL MARKET, NAIRA SHOULD NEVER BE DEVALUED FURTHER.

  • Omolaso

    Why do we have the BDC? Who created BDC? For who? and for what?

  • Tru

    It’s either the CBN and ABCON are both absolutely clueless or someone wants to 419 someone. All there posturing and strategising by these two bodies is basically addressing the symptom rather than the root cause of the disease (i.e 185 naira difference between CBN and black market rate). The root cause of the disease is simply little or negligible supply of USD to satisfy demand. Period.

    So, lets say that the ABCON publishes a rate of 399 or 400 as they promised, where will they get the USD supply to satisfy the resulting demand? Surely only the CBN will give them money at that rate. With the paltry CBN Forex reserve, there is nothing much they can do in view of the gapping demand by importers. Will ABCON bring the USD out of their pocket to sell to importers at N400. Definitely not. All they want is to squeeze the much they can from CBN at N305 and go round the corner to sell to their brothers at a wholesale price of N480. These brothers will in turn go to the street corner to sell to the importers at the black market rate of N492 (as at today’s rate). Essentially the real people making any real contribution to the economy (the importers) will still get the USD at N492. So who is fooling who?

    The ABCON president, visibly salivating, said “Imagine where all the $35billion Diaspora remittances quoted by Abike Dabiri had gone through the official market”. Seriously Mr Gwadabe, you think the diaspora would rather exchange $35billion at N305 instead of N490 thereby losing an equivalent of N6.5 trillion in value? These people are not dumb, that is why they are in diaspora. In fact, they are some of our best brains and they can quickly do the arithmetic. So you can see why the Diaspora will not be in a hurry to help you cure the root cause of the disease (i.e USD supply)?

    In fact what ABCON simply want is to “have more access to Diaspora remittances”. They want the CBN to come up with even more half thought through draconian measure to criminalise changing money at the black market. Such draconian measures only further feather the nest of the ABCON/Black market operators. Yes the BDC and black market operators are both one and the same. Voice of Jacob and hand of Esau. The country and the masses are the only losers in this equation.

    If the CBN wants to be sincere and truly serve the masses, all they need to do is to ensure true and proper floating of the N/$ exchange rates. Yes in the very short term the exchange rate will skyrocket to N490, but within weeks we will see the rates coming down rapidly because of the US$ supplies increasing. A foreign investor or Diaspora would rather exchange at N470 rather than wait until the rate is N400. This means there will be rapid increase in dollar supplies.

    This is not rocket science, but selfish interests will not let people in authority do the right thing.

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