THE Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has disclosed that the decision to tie all transactions by Bureau De Change (BDC) operators to the Bank Verification Number (BVN) has saved the nation about $300 million in the first thee weeks.
Emefiele, who spoke at the 49th Annual Bankers Dinner organized by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Lagos at the weekend, said that the directive had cut down the number of BDCs requesting foreign exchange thereby reducing foreign exchange sales by $100 million every week.
“We have seen that the number of BDC operators who purchase forex from the Central Bank every week dropped from an average of about 2,886 to just below 1,200 BDCs, thereby giving the CBN forex savings of almost $100 million per week. This policy seems to have chased away unscrupulous BDC operators to allow only genuine operators to remain in the market” he said.
Noting that while “it may be too soon to completely adjudicate on the merits of our policies, preliminary signs indicate that we are headed to the right direction as a people”, Emefiele said
He, however, noted that through its various policies, the CBN has “managed to attain stability in the exchange rate at about N197/$1 since February 2015, although some are not happy with us for that action. Most speculators and rent- seekers have been eliminated from the forex market.
“Domestic production of excluded items such as tomato paste, rice, fish, aluminum items, and others are picking up gradually. Despite the sharp drop in inflows, our forex reserves is still at about $30 billion which is enough to cover about six months of Nigeria’s imports as against the traditional benchmark of three months.
Emefiele said “this is an opportunity for us to look inwards, diversify our economy away from oil, produce locally and create jobs for our unemployed youths.
“We definitely cannot survive as a people by importing everything and anything. We are a resilient and hardworking people and I am confident that out of these difficulties would come out the best ideas. I am assured that better days are around the corner and we just cannot lose faith. This is the time to display our resilience as a nation and we must all put our hands on the deck to ensure a better economy for Nigeria.”
Also speaking, the President of the Institute, Mrs. ’Debola Osibogun, affirmed that a lot has happened not only in the economic landscape but also in the nation’s political arena while other far reaching initiatives introduced have in one way or the other had impacted the banking industry and the economy.
Source : SunOnline