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The Roles of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Bureau De Change (BDC) in Foreign Exchange Stability.

The financial intermediation of the trio of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bank and Bureau De Change (BDC) in any growing or developed economy cannot be jettisoned. The main role of the CBN is supervisory and regulatory in nature as the duo of bank and BDC cannot function effectively and efficiently without a grounded CBN. The CBN creates and gives lives to them through rigorous registration and certification procedures, continuous monitoring and supervision, right policies and directive to stimulate growth and development in the country among others.

Bureau De Change (BDC) is a private business licensed by CBN to render service of buying and selling foreign currencies to the public. The main objective of BDC was to serve the retail end of the market by making $5000 or less available to end users for the purpose of private or business travels (PTA or BTA), tuition fee or medical bill payment. The reason for this intermediation seems credible in the face of administrative bottleneck encountered by small end users of foreign currencies from commercial banks.

BDC has over time grown exponentially in Nigeria with allegation of over concentration of licensed operators in a particular section of the country. According to the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nig (ABCON), there are over 5000 of them providing over 15,000 of jobs as at 2020 as well as providing data to help Central Bank in day to day foreign exchange management (Bus. day, Sept 25th 2020). One can deduce therefore that they remain critical and necessary for economic growth.

SOURCES OF BDC PROBLEMS

Excessive profiteering: It is wrong for the owners and operators of BDC to abuse the privilege of serving the public through abnormal margin under the pretence of forces of demand and supply or artificial scarcity since they enjoy subsidy from the CBN. For instance, how can they justify an intervention via weekly auction at 410 USD and trade same for 515 USD? By so doing, they seem to have deviated from their original mandate to make availability of foreign exchange currencies to underserved and unserved segment of the market.

Funding Corruption and Money Laundering: According to the CBN governor, Godwin Emefele, Bureau De Change has become (illegal) wholesale dealers in foreign exchange to the tune of millions of dollars per transaction, proliferation of BDC to obtain forex from CBN, dollarizing the economy etc. What a mismatched of mandate! Instead of being a partner in progress to apex bank, BDC operators have continued to undermine the core objective of CBN to stabilize foreign exchange through round-tripping and other vices. The effort of ABCON at holding its members to account seems little or no effect in the face of the CBN findings.

SALE OF FOREIGN EXCHANGE

The growth in BDC operators since CBN began its sale of foreign exchange to the sector has been astronomical from mere 74 in 2005 to almost 5500 as at 27th July, 2021 according CBN, and should give any regulatory body a concern in terms of monitoring and ensuring compliance. CBN waited too late but better late than never.

Similarly, the policy of selling FX to BDC might have been a counter balancing one because Nigeria is the only country in the committee of nations where such policy is in place. Our policy choice must be sustainable going forward.

SUMMARY

The regulatory power of Apex Bank is guided under Bank & other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) & Foreign Exchange [Monitoring and Miscellaneous Provisions] Act No. 17 of 1995. This power must be used effectively and efficiently at all times to direct, monitor and punish erring bank and others without any fear or favour in the best interest of the society.

It is therefore my considered opinion that the decision of the CBN to exclude BDC from the sale of foreign exchange should help in reducing the burden of monitoring and stabilise the foreign exchange market as all eyes will now be shifted to commercial bank to ensure compliance with foreign exchange guideline.

MOI, Ph.D

Amended Companies & Allied Bill, 2020

President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Abuja assented to the Companies and Allied Matters Bill, 2020 recently passed by the National Assembly.

The President’s action on this important piece of legislation, therefore, repealed and replaced the extant Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990, introducing after 30 years, several corporate legal innovations geared toward enhancing ease of doing business in the country.

Such innovations include:

a. Filing fee reductions and other reforms to make it easier and cheaper for small and medium-sized enterprises to register and reform their businesses in Nigeria;

b. Allowing corporate promoters of companies to establish private companies with a single member or shareholder, and creating limited liability partnerships and limited partnerships to give investors and business people alternative forms of carrying out their business in an efficient and flexible way;

c. Innovating processes and procedures to ease the operations of companies, such as introducing Statements of Compliance; replacing “authorised share capital” with minimum share capital to reduce costs of incorporating companies; and providing for electronic filing, electronic share transfers, e-meetings as well as remote general meetings for private companies in response to the disruptions to close contact physical meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic;

d. Requiring the disclosure of persons with significant control of companies in a register of beneficial owners to enhance corporate accountability and transparency; and

e. Enhancing the minority shareholder protection and engagement; introducing enhanced business rescue reforms for insolvent companies; and permitting the merger of Incorporated Trustees for associations that share similar aims and objectives.

Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President
(Media & Publicity)
August 7, 2020

NIGERIA LAND BORDER CLOSURE (NLBC): MATTERS ARISING

Nigeria Economy Nigeria population is estimated at over 200 million and most populated in Africa and the 7th in the world. As at 2019, the country’s GDP (nominal) is estimated at $447.013 billion with a per capita $2,244.The huge population of the country is a fertile ground for any kind of trade as every nation sees her as a potential trading partner.

Globalisation The advent of internet has revolutionised trade across the world to the extent that emphasis on physical border has shifted in the face of globalisation. But no nation will waive its sovereignty when its territorial integrity is being compromised both from within and outside. Across all nations, countries have signed trade and bilateral agreements to promote economic integration and cooperation. The goal usually is to promote ease of trade across geographical borders without any artificial or deliberate encumbrances from parties to the agreement within terms and conditions.

PROS AND CONS OF A RAISED VALUE ADDED TAX (VAT)

By
Michael ‘Dare Idowu, Ph.D., ACCA

Taxes can be conveniently classified as either Direct or Indirect. Value Added Tax (VAT) is a good example of an indirect tax of which the incidence or burden of payment falls on manufactured or sale of goods and services. On the other hand, a direct tax burden is shouldered by the individuals and the company. For instance, Personal Income Tax (PIT), Company Income Tax (CIT), PAYE etc are some of the examples of direct taxes.

The quantum of revenue that can be generated by the government through taxation is directly proportional to the state of the economy. In an economy with tax to GDP ratio of 6.1% (Wikipedia), the importance of an indirect tax like VAT cannot be disputed. To depict that, in every N1m of goods and services produced in our economy, taxes generated is just N61, 000. The flip side of the coin is that the country needs to produce a greater GDP to have a higher receivable from taxes.

While it is conceded that the Nigeria economy tax to revenue is poor and among the lowest in Africa and the world at large, whether this is the right time for the Federal Government to move up VAT rate from 5% to 7.5% as recently approved by Federal Executive Council (FEC) has becoming the talking point. Let me quickly remind my readers that the policy direction is yet a proposal except the relevant tax law, in this case, the VAT Act is amended accordingly.

TOWARDS AN EFFICIENT THIRD-TIER GOVERNMENT

By
Michael ‘Dare Idowu, Ph.D., ACCA

The mal-administration at the local government level in Nigeria has become a major discourse to concerned Nigerians at home and abroad. The abysmal failure of this level of government despite being the closest that should have impacted positively in the lives of local community is hydra in nature and deserves a thorough exposition. It is obviously in our collective best interest for the local government to work so as to deliver the required complementary role to the state government.

CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION: ADMINISTRATION

Part 2, Section 7(1-6) of Nigeria 1999 constitution as amendeddescribes how the local government administration should be operated and sub-section 6 (a & b) are instructive in the face of current debate.

(6) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution: ­                                               (a) The National Assembly shall make provisions for statutory allocation of  public revenue to local government councils in the Federation; and               (b) The House of Assembly of a State shall make provisions for statutory allocation of public revenue to local government councils within the State.

FUNDING: S162 (1-8) particularly 5-8.

(5) The amount standing to the credit of Local Government Councils in the Federation Account shall also be allocated to the State for the benefit of their Local Government Councils on such terms and in such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly.

(6) Each State shall maintain a special account to be called “State Joint Local Government Account” into which shall be paid all allocations to the Local Government Councils of the State from the Federation Account and from the Government of the State.

(7) Each State shall pay to Local Government Councils in its area of jurisdiction such proportion of its total revenue on such terms and in such manner as may be prescribed by the National Assembly.

NEW STAMP DUTY TAX POLICY IS ANTI-POOR

It is useful to appreciate and perhaps sympathise with the enormous challenges facing the current government. The southward movement of the crude price is a critical dynamics in this respect. More fundamentally today, is the need to reposition our economy from a mono-culture, import dependent and consumer of all kinds of foreign products. The truth is that we as a nation have remained too long in our comfort zone by putting all our eggs in one basket; relying majorly on revenue from crude oil. We refused or neglected to save for a raining day and that is why we are on our kneels today.

Be that as it may, the question is that, must our leaders ride a willing horse to death? We have agreed to tighten our belts but they say that was not enough. We have resorted to providing basic necessity of life, such as: power, water, security etc for ourselves and virtually become a local government council, yet our hope is progressively being dashed. How long can we bear this pains and anguish? More questions than answers!

I have critically examined the recent implementation of the stamp duty on savings by the banks and found it contradictory on many fronts. Firstly, it is against financial inclusivity because it will further discourage the unbanked rural community from embracing banking and saving habit. Secondly, I strongly believe this is against the ‘cash-light’ policy of the government because it will encourage more cash transactions as against less cash. Also, people are more likely to hold cash at the risk of being stolen.

STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF BUDGETING MODELS WITH EMPHASIS ON ZERO BASED BUDGETING

By Michael O. Idowu

I have decided to write this piece to shed light on this topic because of need to clear some expectation gaps that may be bothering our minds regarding budgeting in this country. For instance, a friend of mind said to me the other day that life would be harder next year because the government is planning to adopt a zero based budgeting approach. That certainly is not the purpose of that model.

Simplistically, budgeting is about planning and if one fails to plan, then one is certainly planning to fail. Budgeting is a methodological way by which government or individuals attempt to breakdown their receipts and expenditure usually over a year. It is a quantifiable (in Naira and Kobo) way of expressing plans and goals. This could be further broken down into monthly, quarterly and half-yearly depending on the budgeter’s intentions.

Budgeting serves some purposes, such as:

  • Planning of annual operations
  • Coordination of plans
  • Assigning roles and responsibilities to various ministries and departments (MDGs).
  • Motivating
  • Controlling and
  • Evaluating performance.

Short-Term Funding. An Effective Device to Aid Business Profitability

by Michael Oluwadare Idowu

Seminar paper from the year 2013 in the subject Business economics – Investment and Finance, grade: A, Atlantic International University (Business and Economics), course: Accounting and finance, language: English, abstract: The purpose of this write up is the discussion of how short-term funding can be used to aid business profitability. In order to achieve this objective, various sources of short term funding will be evaluated with a view to underscore the relative advantages and disadvantages. I will also recommend factors to consider before using short term funding. The key purpose of any business venture is return. This can come in various forms such as profit maximization; maximization of contribution, shareholders wealth maximisation among others. These strategic objectives usually come in sizes depending on the nature of the business or organisation. Lofty as strategic decisions may be, the importance of having adequate and efficient funding to support it cannot be over-emphasised. It has been shown again and again that one of the main reasons why business fails is the miss-matched of funding. Experience has shown that when you use your working capital (a form of short-term fund) to finance a capital project, the ability to run the business as a going -concern into a foreseeable future becomes shaky due to cash-flow problems. Funding a business that requires a short-term funding with a long-term financing is a sure way to exist the market arena in an unceremoniously. It is therefore critical to have a right mix of fiancé to boost productivity and enhance competitive advantage.