Stakeholders Say Multiple Exchange Rates Benefitting Few

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Stakeholders in the financial sector have decried the multiple exchange rates in the country, saying it is fueling unwholesome practices in the system.

Some of the stakeholders, who spoke to our correspondent, said it was beneficial to only a few while many other people who could have utilised the forex better were suffering for it.

A former President, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, Dr Sam Nzekwe, urged the Central Bank of Nigeria to stop the multiple windows of exchange rates and adopt a uniform rate.

According to him, those who have access to get dollars at the official rate can do round tripping with it and make huge profit.

This also made the value of the naira to keep on depreciating, he said.

He said, “They should stop multiple exchange rates and have one single rate so that it will be unprofitable for those who may want to use it for unwholesome purposes.”

The Rector, Institute of Credit Administrators of Nigeria, Prof. Chris Onalo, worried about an economy that favoured a few that had access to forex at the official rate.

“Few are successful in business and having access to foreign exchange just to import things into the country,” he said.

Recently, the CBN froze some domiciliary accounts of individuals and corporates forex infractions.

The personal accounts of those affected were also frozen, which was to last for a period of six months.

One of those affected who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “We were not informed of our offences; they only froze our accounts and said it would be investigated for six months.

“Our personal accounts too were frozen and it has been very difficult since then as we were not informed before our accounts were frozen.”

Another person who was affected in CBN’s forex sanction said, “My domiciliary accounts and all my personal accounts with my BVN were frozen, but I don’t know what I did.”

He worried that only a few had access to forex at the official price and that this situation was only benefiting the few.

The President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mansur Ahmed, during the recent annual general meeting of the association, said, “Manufacturers are increasingly finding it difficult to source foreign exchange for the importation of raw materials, machinery and spares that are not available locally.”

He said the CBN should grant manufacturers increased exchange access to foreign exchange at pre-COVID-19 rate to support the importation of raw materials, machines and spares that are not available locally.

– Punch

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