Manufacturer cautions CBN over sale of dollar to BDCs

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As the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) concludes arrangement to resume sale of dollar proceeds of international money transfer (IMT) to bureau de change (BDC) operators doing business in Nigeria next week, some manufacturers are calling on the apex bank to put a monitoring mechanism in place to check the activities of BDC, in order to curtail further depreciation of the naira.
Speaking with Sunday Vanguard in Lagos, the Chairman, Toiletries and Cosmestics group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (T&C Group of MAN), Mr. Ikpong Umoh, advised the monetary authority to fund businesses that will add value to the economy, instead of selling dollar to BDC.

He said, “I do not support the issue of CBN selling dollar to BDC. The CBN should tread with caution to protect the naira, because operators of BDC are among those bastardizing our local currency. They are hawking dollar in such a manner that depreciates the naira so much. For instance, they can get forex from the official window of the apex bank at 306, only to sell at over 490, at a very high rate. You can see the wide margin they make. This clearly shows that the BDC operators in the country also consitute another CBN on their own. The CBN should fund manufacturers to boost productive activities in the country.

On if the CBN is not monitoring activities of the BDC operators adquately at present, he said, “They do not keep a single financial record of their activities. Some of them keep tripple records. This implies that they keep numerous records. So, they show the CBN records that are totally different from the businesses that favour them. The CBN should fund local manufacturers who import raw into the country, to add value to the economy in job creation, instead of BDC operators. The people BDC are funding now are traders who engage in buying and selling of imported goods, without adding any value to the economy. Some of these traders import goods that can be made locally from China and other countries, to the detriment of local manufacturers in Nigeria.”

Responding to question on how BDC can get forex without the suppot of the apex bank, he explained, “There are different sources through which dollar comes into the country, so BDC can source from autonomous market and from people coming into the country. This is importation to prevent further depreciaiton of the local currency, which has greatly lost it value already. The CBN’s monetary policies in 2017 should promote industrial development throuugh manufacturing and not importation”.

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