National President, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Dr. Bassey Edem, has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for licensing eleven additional international Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) to operate in the country as part of efforts to liberalize the foreign exchange market, ensure liquidity and make foreign exchange more readily available to low end users.
He said: “We believe that this policy decision is a step in the right direction in ensuring that remittances from Nigerians in the diaspora remain a viable source of foreign exchange for the Nigerian economy”.
The President stated this in a press statement sent to LEADERSHIP in Lagos, he counseled that the CBN reconsidered its stance in its earlier press release (Ref: CCD\GEN\02-08-2016\01) where it stated as follows:
“(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.”
Edem said that this policy will put price control and determination in a few hands and create an enabling environment for sharp practices within the forex parallel market. “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”.
He explained that 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 divert the inflows to unproductive ventures. This may lead to continuing increase in the price of the foreign exchange.
“As a leading member of the Organized 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,” he said.