The Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) on Monday said that a competitive Diaspora Remittance market space would engender Naira stability.
President, ABCON, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe made the assertion in an interview with journalists in Lagos, against the backdrop of the recent CBN Naira for dollar policy issued on March 5.
Gwadabe lauded the apex bank’s policy, but said more needed to be done for the policy to achieve its intended objective of shoring up the value of the Naira through liquidity boost.
He said there was the need to break the monopoly of some certain players in the remittances space by allowing the participation of other stakeholders like BDCs in the realm of remittances.
According to him, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, etc, have all deepened their remittance space through a heavy competitive market space.
The ABCON boss said that measures taken by the aforementioned countries had enabled them to achieve volumes, leading to the stability of their local currencies.
He said that the Naira for dollar measure was among the many recent strategies deployed by the CBN to attract more Diaspora remittances into the official channel and address the foreign exchange liquidity concerns in the market.
“There is no doubt the incentive will be somehow attractive to the targeted beneficiaries of the remittances and therefore aimed to address concerns of one of the principal ally in the chain of remittances,” Gwadabe said.
He said that statistics from the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) suggested that over 17 million Nigerians legally residing in the Diaspora remitted over 20 billion dollars in 2020 in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This therefore suggests that it is a window, if well articulated and includes all the principal allies in the remittances space, will help the Nigerian economy for the availability of FX liquidity,” Gwadabe said.
The CBN, in a circular dated March 5, 2021, directed all Deposit Money Banks and International Money Transfer Operators to henceforth pay recipients of diaspora remittances N5 for every USD received as remittance inflow.
The incentive, tagged “Naira 4 Dollar Scheme,” was announced in a circular signed by Saleh Jibrin, CBN ‘s Director, Trade and Exchange Department.
Jibrin said that the scheme, which would run from March 8 until May 8, would allow all recipients of diaspora remittances to be paid N5 for every one dollar received.
He said that beneficiaries would get the incentive, whether they collect the remitted dollars as cash across the counter or through their domiciliary accounts.
The director said all commercial banks and International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) should ensure that the scheme takes effect from March 8.
NIMASA DG calls for contributory pension for dockworkers
…As agency hosts maiden ‘day of the dockworker’ event
By Seun Ibiyemi
It was a milestone event for the local maritime industry as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) hosted the maiden edition of the ‘Day of the Dockworker’ in Lagos recently.
With the theme of the event being “Healthy Dockworker, Better Productivity,” it was an opportunity for stakeholders gathered to not just appreciate the efforts of Nigerian dockworkers at the center of the nation’s import-dependent economy, but also to focus on ways of improving their health and general well-being.
Delivering his welcome address at the event, the NIMASA Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh OFR, charged employers of labor to ensure all dockworkers are enrolled on contributory pension schemes, while also emphasising the need for operators of Oil and Gas Terminals to allow only approved stevedores aboard their installations, to ensure compliance with relevant international guidelines and conventions.
According to Dr. Jamoh, “As we celebrate today, it is important to put in perspective the plight of dockworkers who spend the greater part of their working life at the ports, with little or nothing to show for it. As employers of labour, you must endeavour to put in place a Contributory Pension Scheme for dockworkers and ensure prompt remittances of both Employers and Employees contributions at the end of each month.”
Speaking on compliance with stevedore inspections, he stated, “This occasion presents me with an opportunity to express the need for operators in the private jetties and Oil & Gas Terminals to grant operational access to the Stevedoring Contractors appointed by the Honorable Minister of Transport, to carry out stevedoring activities in assigned operational areas.”
On his part, the President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, in his address, thanked the NIMASA Management for organising the event to celebrate Nigerian dockworkers in recognition of the important role played by them.
In attendance at the event were representatives from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity; Nigerian Ports Authority; Seaport Terminal Operators Association and the National Association of Stevedoring Operators (NASA).
Internationally, July 7th is marked as ‘The Global Day of Action’ and is organized by the International Dockworkers’ Council (IDC) and International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). It aims to raise awareness of port working conditions and emphasize the importance of collective bargaining rights.
LCCI tasks govt on transparent FX regime, multinationals’ engagement
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has implored the government to create a more flexible and transparent foreign exchange policy to address scarcity issues.
Its Director-General, Dr Chinyere Almona, gave the advice on Thursday in Lagos, in reaction to the recent announcement of Procter & Gamble to transition its Nigerian operations to an import-only model.
Recall that the Chief Financial Officer of Procter & Gamble, Andre Schulten, had said this move would effectively dissolve its on-ground presence in the country.
Almona noted that over the last few months, there had been a consistent increase in exit plans or a reduction in involvement in the Nigerian market by multinationals, saying the trend was worrisome.
She stated that the country’s lingering foreign exchange scarcity, poor power supply, port congestion, multiple taxation, insecurity, and poor infrastructure, among others, had taken a toll on many businesses in the country.
She recommended that the government should implement measures to stabilise and ensure the availability of foreign exchange for businesses, particularly those operating in dollar-denominated environments.
“Further, the chamber urges the government to engage multinational corporations and the business community to understand their challenges and gather input and feedback on policy decisions to collaboratively develop solutions that would forestall the exodus of businesses from Nigeria.
”The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should prioritise the stability of the country’s currency and adopt the right policy mix to ensure price stability,” she said.
Tinubu appoints Omatsola Ogbe as new ES of NCDMB
President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe as Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
The President in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale appointed new board members for the NCDMB.
According to the Spokesperson to the President, the President in conformity with Sections 71(1), 72, and 73 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (2010) approved the appointment of qualified Nigerians to serve on the Governing Council and Management team of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
The newly appointed board members include:Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri — Chairman / HMS, Petroleum Resources, Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe — Executive Secretary, Oritsemyiwa Eyesan — Member / EVP Upstream, NNPC Ltd, Gbenga Komolafe — Member / CEO, NUPRC, Bekearedebo Augusta Warrens — Member, Nicolas Odinuwe — Member, Rapheal Samuel — Member, Sadiq Abubakar — Member, Olorundare Sunday Thomas — Member.
Ajuri noted that the President expects the new appointees to discharge their duties with his patriotic resolve to significantly enhance indigenous industry participation in the energy sector as part of the Renewed Hope Agenda’s mandate to achieve the goal of 70 percent indigenous content and participation in the nation’s energy industry during the lifespan of this administration.
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