Flexible forex policy still on trial, says Emefiele

The flexible exchange rate inter-bank market policy being implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is still on trial and would soon make room for more stakeholders including Bureaux de Change (BDC) operators to participate, the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, has said.

He was however silent on the fate of the 41items restricted from accessing foreign exchange through the official window by the apex bank. The restriction has affected cargo volumes at the port, according to Chairman of the Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrup.

Speaking during an interactive session between the BDCs and CBN  on the new policy and state of the forex market on Wednesday, Emefiele said all hopes to include BDCs in the policy guidelines is not lost, while also acknowledging the impact of the policy on BDC businesses.

The broad framework and guidelines on the policy was released by the CBN on June 15 during which it restored the automatic adjustment mechanism of the exchange rate with the re-introduction of a flexible inter-bank exchange rate market.

The apex bank said the workings of this market will be consistent with its objectives of enhancing efficiency and facilitating a liquid and transparent foreign exchange market.

Emefiele, who was represented by CBN Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Anthony Ikem, said, “The CBN wants to accommodate and carry all stakeholders along. All that management is requiring for the BDCs is to be more patient. The new policy is being tested. Efforts will be made to see how the BDCs, which are critical to economic development, will be carried along.”

The CBN governor promised the operators that they will be part of the policy, adding that more collaboration between the regulator and operators is needed to move the economy forward.

He said the CBN will review the BDC operational guidelines to ensure they are in line with regulatory requirement and prepare the operators for the task ahead.


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