ABCON Reacts As Politicians Are Mopping Up Forex Ahead Party Primaries

Indications are that the relative stability in the nation’s foreign exchange market is about to get awfully unstable if the trend within the political scene is anything to go by, The NATION

Investigation revealed that most of the deposit money banks have had a shortfall in supply of forex such that they have been unable to meet demand by customers.

This is just as operators in the black-market are having a field day, Thecitypulsenews authoritatively gathered.

Speaking at the weekend, a bank customer, who simply identified as Ms. Stella said she made a request to her bank for $4, 000 ahead of a foreign trip but got barely $2000 almost a week later.

Pressed further, she said when she approached the black-market for same, most of the operators complained of scarcity of some sorts, a development she claimed the latter attributed to activities by politicians.

When our source spoke with a cross-section of bureau de change operators within Lagos metropolis and environs they also revealed that most of their forex supply had been mopped up by some moneybag politicians, ostensibly to support electioneering campaigns, especially the forthcoming party conventions.

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One of the BDC operators, who would not be named confided in our correspondent that politicians have mopped up all the dollars in the parallel market due to the bribe and settlement that will occur during the party primaries this month and the month to follow.

According to him, “Most BDC operators have been under intense pressure from some of the political aspirants who have been using their fronts to buy up forex from every channel possible, including the black-market.”

Specifically, he said, the rate of exchange will even go beyond N650-N700 benchmark before the convention because of the increased pressure by the politicians and aspirants, especially for dollars.

As at the time of filing in this report, the dollar exchange rate was still at N415.83 to a dollar at the official market, creating a rate gap of N180.17 per dollar while it went for N602.99, N628.11 for EUR and N735.35 for pound sterling.

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Apparently worried by this development, the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has developed a roadmap campaign plan needed to save the naira from further decline and enhance exchange rate stability.

The ABCON National Executive Council said the move to save the naira was agreed by the body at the conclusion of its meeting in Lagos, where it unveiled strategies to save the local currency, bridge the exchange rate gaps as well as curb the volatility in the forex market.

The ABCON president, Aminu Gwadabe, said there was an urgent need to enhance dollar liquidity in the market and ensure stability of prices in the economy.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), has reviewed its timetable for primary elections into various elective positions.

In the previous timetable, the primaries for governorship were fixed for May 18, the state House of Assembly for May 20, while that of House of Representatives and Senate were scheduled for May 22 and 24 respectively, just as presidential primary holds May 30th.

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The party had in the adjusted schedule of activities and timetable released last week fixed the screening of all aspirants from the House of Assembly to the Presidency for 14th, 15th and May 23, 2022, respectively.

This is even as APC close challenger in the 2023 general elections, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has fixed its presidential primary for May 28-29 with over 15 aspirants already been cleared to participate in the primary of the PDP.

These changes may be connected to the ongoing amendment to section 84(8) of the Electoral Act.

These adjustments are coming amidst call for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to extend the deadline for the conclusion of all primaries.

The electoral body has insisted on June 3 as the deadline for party primaries.

ABCON Reacts As Politicians Are Mopping Up Forex Ahead Party Primaries