After crashing to a low of almost N500 to the dollar in recent weeks at the parallel market, the naira is expected to make a surprise recovery from today as Travelex, a global foreign exchange (forex) dealer, begins the sale of$15,000 weekly to each of the 3,000 Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators.
Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) President Aminu Gwadabe, who broke the news yesterday, said $45 million will flow into the financial system with each of the BDCs getting $15,000.
The exercise, he said, would strengthen the naira in both the official and parallel markets.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), had directed through a circular to authorised dealers, that all agents to approved International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) sell foreign currency accruing from inward money remittances to licensed BDCs.
The directive was meant to ensure stability of the exchange rate and encourage participation of critical stakeholders in the foreign exchange market.
The naira yesterday had closed slightly stronger selling at N473 to the dollar up from N476 which it sold on Wednesday.
Noting that the association was partnering with Travelex, Gwaadabe said about 1,500 BDCs would access $15,000 each from the IMTO this weekend. This he said, would further give strength to the naira at the parallel market in the coming days.
The ABCON boss said the experience and integrity of Travelex will be key in getting the dollars down to BDCs.
He urged all BDC operators, as a matter of urgency, to visit CBN branches in their respective zones to validate their en-cashers and signatory mandate cards for Travelex biometric data capturing excercise.
Gwadabe said the biometric data capturing project would enable the BDCs access the International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs)/Travelex dollars window.
He said remittances have direct positive and significant impact on consumption, investment, and demand in the country as it can be used to address short-run output shocks, and even long run growth.
He said that remittances tend to be stable and to increase during periods of economic downturns and natural disasters.
He said the CBN is reaffirming the country’s commitment to building an enabling environment and level-playing field for international money transfer services to Nigeria.
He said that by increasing the number of IMTOs from three to 14, the CBN under its Governor, Godwin Emefiele, is setting the economy on the path of development in the medium- to long-term and also, restore integrity in the international money transfer business.
Gwadabe said the ongoing dollar sales to BDCs would strengthen the operators to meet the forex demand at the retail end of the market so that they can continue to enhance employment generation in the country.
The ABCON boss believes that despite the challenges facing the economy, the CBN and BDCs would continue to work together and find sustainable solutions that can help the country wriggle out of the ongoing forex crisis and achieve full economic recovery.
He pledged that ABCON would continue to ensure that purchased funds were sold to end users and for eligible transactions and also render returns promptly.
He further promised to ensure strict compliance to the provisions of the anti-money laundering laws observance of appropriate Know Your Customer principles in the handling of forex transactions.