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ABCON wants CBN to review exchange rate band

The Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria to review the exchange rate band at which Bureaux de Change buy dollars to align with commercial banks’ buying rate.

According to the President, ABCON, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, BDC operators  buy dollars from International Money Transfer Operators as directed by the CBN at N360/$ and sell at N361.5/$ whereas commercial banks buy at N357/$ and sell at N360/$.

Gwadabe, at a press briefing in Lagos, urged the CBN to merge the BDCs and bank rates to achieve market harmony and a level playing field for all stakeholders.

According to him, the underlying market intrigues and political anxieties in the country are pointers that the CBN needs to listen to ABCON’s demand and merge both rates in the interest of the naira and economy.

He said, “The losses being recorded in the equities market where over N700bn has been lost in recent weeks, as well as speculative tendencies among big foreign exchange players, will continue to constitute big threat for exchange rate stability.

“The rising naira liquidity, high demand for dollars in the travel seasons, payment for 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 said the stability at the Investors’ & Exporters’ Forex Window and the BDC subsector would continue to boost investors’ confidence in the economy and improve capacity in the manufacturing sector.

He said some of the decisions of the CBN had helped to stabilise the naira and the forex market.

According to him, some of the decisions include a cycle of monetary tightening to rein in inflation, and external reserves management through the restriction of foreign exchange for goods that can be produced in Nigeria.

“The CBN also introduced various policies to eliminate foreign exchange speculators, bettors, round-trippers and rent-seekers and these have stabilised the naira and brought stability to the foreign exchange market,” he said.