ACTN cites forex scarcity concerns for trade financing
The Association of Corporate Treasurers of Nigeria (ACTN) has lamented over the acute scarcity of foreign exchange in the country, noting that its members are still experiencing difficulties in accessing foreign exchange to grow their businesses.
The new president, ACTN, Adeyinka Ogunnubi, speaking on the sidelines of the former president’s handing over ceremony and strategy session of the association, explained that there is no liquidity in the market, stressing that most of its members lack access to trade financing.
According to him, the unavailability of trade financing is connected to the scarcity of forex and the downgrading of Nigeria’s risk ratings. In his words: “It is becoming difficult to get trade finance from banks for us to maintain our inventory lines. So we need the Federal Government to solve the policy problems, because that is where the solution is because if they address the policy problems, it will be easier for us to get trade financing, easier for us to pay our taxes and continue business.
“The issues around multiplicity of foreign exchange is something that needs to be resolved and issues around subsidy needs to be resolved,” he advised.
He, however, called on the incoming government to prioritise efforts at addressing the forex scarcity and interest rate situation in the country, saying that Nigeria must have one stable exchange rate that would drive local and foreign direct investment and ensure a business-friendly environment for businesses to thrive.
“We expect that the government will recognise that time is of essence. There is no time to waste to appoint ministers, they have to get into office and their first order of business is the economy. We expect that there is a focus on the forex situation particularly the exchange rate.
“We believe that the first order of the new government is that they have to solve this problem of the multiplicity of the exchange rate. We have to have one exchange rate that drives investment and business-friendly and allows for more forex supply into this economy. The regulatory environment too has to be very friendly,” he averred.
He said going forward as an association, plans are ongoing to increase growth while also creating a platform for its members to get their voice heard.
“As an association, we are growing and we intend to keep that track record growing, so the outgoing president has done a good job, she has actually taken the association from a point when we were depending on FMDQ, but we are now totally independent and sustainable financially and this is a very big plus,” he said.
“My task now is to be able to take the association to the next level of increasing our sustainability and to also ensure that we are able to build on the current success. We need to ensure visibility of the association and we are doing a lot of training and advocacy for the purpose of our members who are focused on ensuring that they get very good value in terms of the right level of education and information that improves their professionalism and effectiveness as treasure officers,” he stated.