By Bimbola Oyesola
The National Association of Chambers of Commerce Industry Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has charged the Federal Government to reconsider its policy of disbursing 60 per cent of foreign exchange collected by the operators of the International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) to the manufacturing and agricultural sectors.
The association, which described the actions of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in licensing 11 additional IMTOs to operate in Nigeria as a step in the right direction, noted however that the directive that forex should be given to operators of Bureaux De Change would be counter productive.
President of NACCIMA, Bassey Edem, said the licencing which was part of efforts to liberalise the foreign exchange market, ensure liquidity and make foreign exchange more available to low end users would help to address the present problem of scarcity of dollar as it will ensure that remittances from Nigerians in the Diaspora remain a viable source of foreign exchange for the Nigerian economy.
“However, we would like to counsel that the CBN reconsider its stance in its earlier press release (Ref: CCD\GEN\02-08-2016\01) where it stated that: “(IMTOs) are required to remit foreign currency to their respective agent banks in Nigeria for disbursement in naira to the beneficiaries while the foreign currency proceeds are to be sold to Bureaux De Change operators for onward retail to end users,” he said
NACCIMA President said the policy will put price control and determination in a few hands and create an enabling environment for sharp practices within the forex parallel market.
He added: “We counsel that beneficiaries of foreign currency proceeds be allowed to determine when they sell their proceeds and at what rate. This will create a situation of multiple supplier/sellers to meet the existing demand in the parallel market and relieve the pressure on the inter-bank window.
“The policy as contained in said circular will constitute a disincentive to the beneficiaries of the inflow and they may consider other alternatives, which could be counterproductive and may lead to the diversion of the inflows to unproductive ventures.”
This may lead to continuing increase in the price of the foreign exchange.
“As a leading member of the Organised Private Sector, our commitment remains the provision of an enabling environment for free enterprise and competitive markets that promote mobility of products, capital, labour and knowledge through simple, transparent and uniformly applied regulatory systems.”