Following the requirement of the Central Bank of Nigeria that all transactions by any Bureau De Change (BDC) in the country must be accompanied by the Bank Verification Number (BVN) of the customer, Nigeria has been able to save up to $300 million.
According to the governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele, the requirement of BVN for transactions has cut down the number of BDCs that request for forex transaction thereby cutting down foreign exchange savings by $100 million every week.
The CBN had last month, directed that BDCs request and verify the BVN of their customers before any transaction is consummated. The directive which took off November 1, 2015 also stated that details of the transactions be included in the BDCs report to the apex bank.
With a weekly savings of $100 million, the CBN policy has seen a foreign exchange savings of $300 million for the past three weeks that the policy had been in place. Speaking at the 49th Annual Bankers Dinner organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) in Lagos at the weekend, Emefiele said the BVN policy had chased out fraudulent BDCs from the system.
“We have seen the number of BDC operators who purchase forex from the central bank every week drop 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 and 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 indicates that we are headed to the right direction as a people”, Emefiele said 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 are 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.
Calling for understanding in the of pains, 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.”
Source : Leadership