BUREAU de change operators (BDCs) are calling on whoever emerges the next president of Nigeria in 2023 to prioritise foreign exchange market liberalization and funding of small scale businesses.
This, they believe, will restore the economy on the pathway to growth and create wealth for the unemployed.
Speaking to The ICIR On the back of the concluded presidential primaries of the political parties, the BDC president, Aminu Gwadabe, said foreign exchange scarcity had made people to divert their funds to business spaces unaffected by forex needs.
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Gwadabe said, “I’m not a student of naira devaluation. The most important thing is to avoid volatile exchange rate. It keeps away investors. Most thriving operating don’t work on volatile exchange rate. You can’t have a stable exchange rate without enough liquidity.”
He said that if the country had a stable exchange rate, speculators would be out of work, while urging the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to liberalise the market with a window that would be satisfying to all customers.
Speaking on one of the measures he believed would ensure a stable exchange rate, he said, “We advised on an autonomous foreign exchange trading window. It will keep exchange rate stable. The CBN should create a window for the critical retail end market.”
He stressed the importance of government’s support for small scale enterprises with technical knowledge and funding to grow their businesses.
“Our policies must support small and medium enterprises funding. In Canada, for instance, there’s a black enterpreneurship loan scheme. It comes with a model of technical knowledge for the enterpreneur before the lending,” he said.
Gwadabe also called on who would succeed President Muhammadu Buhari to consider the sale of redundant assets spread across the country.
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He noted that such a step would afford the government alternative funds for its projects, rather than resorting to borrowing.
He said, “If the government cannot maintain its redundant projects, it should sell them and use the money to fund its projects. Our debt profile is rising. Currently, it is above N41 trillion. Keeping redundant assets is not good.”
He stated that Nigeria urgently needed a leader that understands the economy and can restore confidence on security.
According to him, Nigeria needed tested businessmen, irrespective of their political inclinations.
“We are in an economy that currently needs a turnaround. We need people who understand the economy.
“Political parties should look at people that are professional and skillful, and who have the capabilities to turn around the economy. We need a productive economy. There must be a paradigm shift on the economy,” he posited.
He stressed the importance of maintaining consistent economic policies to grow investor-confidence.