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Business Finance Info & Updates

Experts seek solution to forex challenge facing businesses

Financial experts have said there is a need to address the foreign exchange challenge facing the manufacturing and trade sectors of the economy which was occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic.

They spoke during a webinar for bank customers in the business of import/export of goods and services, Sterling Bank said on Friday in a statement entitled, ‘Sterling Bank, stakeholders brainstorm on driving foreign trade.’

In his keynote address, the Executive Director of Operations and Chief Operating Officer, Sterling Bank, Mr Raheem Owodeyi, said COVID-19 had disrupted global logistics, leading to price fluctuations in commodities and drop in gross domestic products and foreign reserves.

He also said that the situation had consequently made it a challenge for banks to support importers and exporters of goods and services in meeting their trade obligations to suppliers.

Owodeyi remarked that those who tried to obtain the forex outside the official channels tended to incur higher than required costs.

In a bid to reduce the constraints of its customers, he said the bank decided to put together the seminar to educate customers on how they could manage the changes created by the pandemic, dearth of forex and how they could source forex through the right channels.

Also speaking, the Regional Coordinator, Nigerian Export Promotion Council, South West Regional Office, Lagos, Mr Samuel Oyeyipo, in his presentation on export trade in Nigeria, opportunities and requirements, said exporters engaged in export business to earn forex, gain access to bigger markets and increase profit levels.

He explained that there were several opportunities in non-oil exports for products such as leather, cashew, cocoa and rubber, with the potential to contribute to the nation’s non-oil forex earnings.

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Speaking on trade competitiveness through collaboration, the Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, 3T Impex Trade Academy, Mr Bamidele Ayemibo, stressed the need for collaboration between importers and exporters.

He said, “In order to survive the impact of COVID-19 on international trade in Nigeria, the importer and exporter must work together with their banks in a symbiotic relationship to generate funding to grow the volume of non-oil exports and foreign exchange as a way of easing the pressure on naira.”

He also stressed the need for importers to build capacity and consider direct export funding as alternative means of generating forex to meet their import funding needs while at the same time mitigating exchange risks by entering into forex forward and futures contracts.


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