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Formalise Japa to boost Nigeria’s fx reserves – BDC chief

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The recent surge in Nigeria’s currency, the Naira, against the United States Dollar has sparked a mix of praise and skepticism towards the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The President of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria Aminu Gwadabe believed that the emigration phenomenon known as ‘Japa’ can be formalised to boost Nigeria’s diaspora inflows and foreign reserves.

During an interview on Channels Television’s Business Incorporated program, said “Our youths should be empowered, we can even start exporting skill, brains; we have a lot of them in arts and music. We have IT (Information Technology).”

“For instance in Bangladesh now, they export their people to Saudi Arabia, they do most of the jobs in Saudi Arabia. If you see the huge remittance, personal home remittances that Bangladeshis are sending from Saudi Arabia, you can’t believe it. Already, there is what is called Japa. Let us formalise Japa with skills, specification and standardisation. That will also help the youth, it will also help the country in terms of foreign reserves”

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Gwadabe also attributed the Naira’s strength to a combination of factors, including stringent policies by the CBN and improved confidence in the market.

He particularly highlighted the impact of recent measures such as the disallowance of domiciliary deposits as collateral for loans and the progress of the Dangote Refinery project in reducing dollar demand pressure.

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When asked about the sustainability of the Naira’s appreciation, Gwadabe expressed confidence in the CBN’s leadership and its target-oriented approach. He emphasized the importance of political will in maintaining the current positive trajectory and achieving set targets.

Gwadabe also outlined several strategies to further bolster Nigeria’s economy and foreign reserves. He advocated for the recognition of Bureau de Change operators as agents of International Money Transfers (IMTs), which could potentially generate billions of dollars in annual revenue.

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Additionally, he called for efforts to de-risk exports and diversify the economy away from oil dependence, emphasizing the need to tap into non-oil sectors like agriculture and youth empowerment.

Drawing inspiration from countries like Bangladesh, Gwadabe proposed formalizing the phenomenon known as ‘Japa,’ referring to emigration for skilled work abroad. He suggested that by channeling skilled Nigerian youths towards structured and standardized opportunities abroad, the country could enhance its foreign reserves and empower its youth population.

In conclusion, Gwadabe underscored the importance of sustained policy measures and diversification efforts to ensure the continued growth and stability of Nigeria’s economy amidst global uncertainties.

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