Economic operators and actors in the productive sector of the economy deplore the difficulties they encounter in accessing foreign currencies to carry out their activities.
They noted that the situation worsened when the Central Bank of Nigeria banned the Bureau de Change from not trading in forex.
Speaking on the matter, a businessman, Jerry Wanodi, said the situation has become more worrying since the CBN wielded a big hammer on BDC.
According to him, due to the bank’s failure to extend forex to importers in the agricultural and manufacturing sectors, the situation has led many importers of equipment to default on payments to their foreign technical partners.
He said manufacturers’ demand for currencies had not been fully met by banks, saying this led to sourcing dollars from the parallel market.
“Since the CBN’s decision not to expand forex directly to BDC, rates have risen, affecting the results of manufacturers and other business owners.
“We advise that critical commodities that cannot be purchased locally be supported with a special forex intervention until the country can develop enough capacity to produce them locally,” Wanodi said.
Also speaking, another businessman, Mr. Collins Uzoigwo, who imports perishable agricultural products from the Republic of Benin, said that the exchange problem is really a serious challenge for them due to the exchange rate because the value against the dollar makes the product very high, adding that such a threat to the existence of their business.
“I have always based my offer on the black market, because getting currency from the bank is a challenge because after going to the bank, after all, it is a wasted effort.
“I depend on Cefa because I buy in the Republic of Benin. We used to buy 1000 Cefa for N270, but now 1000 Cefa equals 1000 N, which is not meant to be.
“We who import is not a good challenge for us because the dollar controls the rate,” Uzoigwo said.
According to him, the Beninese currency has remained constant while the Nigerian naira has continued to experience fluctuations.
Telling his own experience, another businessman, Ade Abdusalam of Ayinla Nigeria Limited, an exporter of finished goods, said the environment is not conducive to exporting at the moment.
“When you can’t export to get the dollars, where will the dollars come from? We export finished Nigerian products; we have manufacturing companies that produce and ours is to export finished products such as toiletries, clothes, groceries, rugs, household items.
“If you want to get dollars from the bank, the banks will introduce you to an aboki (parallel market operator) and tell you to go meet the aboki and they will make it easier for you to meet the aboki. Still, CBN will just sit and bark like a toothless bull dog.
“The reality on the ground is that most of these banks are the ones that will give you the contacts of the abokis.
“The government should not sit in Abuja and set policies. They should go to the market and they will get first hand information. The real export is in the market. I don’t know how they sit in Abuja and get their data, ”he lamented.
By: Corlins Walter