The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) forex policy to unify the foreign exchange saying it is a welcomed development and a big step towards improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
Speaking on the new policy, the President of ACCI, Dr Al-Mujtaba Abubakar stated that the development is as result of the political will of the president to ensure an economic turnaround in the country by allowing the business community access to foreign currency through deposit to banks to conduct their businesses.
Before now, Nigeria operated two exchange rates, the CBN rate at N445/$1 which was hardly ever available in the banks, and the black market rate of N755/$1 which was easily accessible with the Bureau de Change.
The situation was as a result of the government fixing the price which was not a market determinant. This gave room for the black market to thrive as they offered favorable prices to change their dollars to Naira and since the deposit bank hardly have hard Dollars available most people bought dollars for as high as N800/$1.
The resultant effect was that importers faced a herculean task the get dollars to process their business as the black market rate was high making goods and services imported to be more expensive for consumers. It also made it difficult for the repatriation of funds by foreign companies operating in the Country to send their profit back to their own country making amongst other problems.
Dr Abubakar said the Unification of the foreign exchange by CBN will greatly reduce the need for the black market purchase of Dollars thereby easing its access for everyone as deposit banks will have Dollars and trade at the rate they decide which brings about healthy competitions in the market.
“In the same vein, the unification of forex calls for tight fiscal policy implementation as the floating of the Naira can make the economy more vulnerable the inflation if the dollar continues to go up against the Naira which also affects Nigeria’s foreign debt which is having a toll on our finances.
He added that the government should therefore ensure that the local economy is protected as the floating of the Naira may allow the importation of some banned items into the country which may stunt the growth of our many merging sectors especially in agriculture.
DR AL-MUJTABA ABUBAKAR (MFR FCA)