Home / BUSINESS / ABCON Boss, Gwadabe, Receives Private Sector Personality of the Year Award

ABCON Boss, Gwadabe, Receives Private Sector Personality of the Year Award

 By Udo Onyeka, Lagos

PRESIDENT of the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, at the weekend, won the ‘Private Sector Personality of the Year 2017 Award’.

He received the award at the 7th Anniversary Lecture & Man of The Year Award organised by the Nigerian NewsDirect, at the Eko Hotel & Suites in Lagos.

Gwadabe emerged winner, given his contributions to the stability of the foreign exchange market, and the naira.

Other awardees include: Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, who won the Chief Executive of the Year Award; Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Maikanti Baru, who won the Man of the Year Award; Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, was named Minister of the Year; Group Managing Director, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, got Bank CEO of the Year Award, among others.

Gwadabe, who dedicated the award to ABCON staff, said he felt so greatly honoured to be recognised.

He added that ABCON remains committed to working with the stakeholders in supporting forex availability and naira stability.

“I am therefore particularly delighted that the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele is implementing appropriate measures to make foreign exchange available and the naira stable against world currencies. At the ABCON end, we have established the naijabdcs.com, a live rate engine room to be rolled out soon, that will ensure uniform genuine rate quote across forex market.

“Let me assure the CBN and other stakeholders in the forex market that Bureau de Change (BDC) operators stand ready to collaborate with them in supporting the development of a viable and stable foreign exchange market for the country. And this readiness is directly in harmony with our resolve and vision to create a professional and ethical BDC sector that will act as a financial catalyst for job creation and inclusive economic growth,” he said.

Gwadabe advised the CBN to use the current buffers presented by the $46 billion foreign exchange reserves to tackle the multiplicity of exchange rates.

He said the CBN should also look at the challenges faced by BDCs in terms of pricing of their dollars, and even make BDCs direct agent of the International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOS).

This, he said, would cheapen dollars as Nigerians still pay high charges for using IMTOs to source dollars, thereby making the greenback to cost more.

“Nigerians should always look out for the ABCON sign on BDC offices before they can do even a dollar transaction. That will prevent them from buying counterfeit currencies. That is one of the gains of patronizing licenced BDCs,” he added.

On revenue diversification, Gwadabe, who was also the keynote speaker at the event, said, what is required of government is to set out a workable plan.

For him, while the government should develop every sector of the economy, for purposes of revenue diversification, there is need to optimise strategic areas that will yield the highest and quickest returns.

He spoke on the theme: Challenges and Impacts of Infrastructure, Security on Revenue Diversification, Energy Supply & Foreign Exchange Earnings.

On his presentation, Gwadabe said states and local governments are also important parties that should be involved in driving revenue for the economy.

“Obviously money from the Federation Account has become insufficient for many states and the target now should be making every state viable, capable of independently sustaining itself without support from the federal government in the long run. It is time for states to begin to think of ways of generating funds besides taxation and federal allocation.

“There is need for the public to be carried along in the government’s response to the economic crises that is biting hard. The public needs to know what actions the government is taking to address existing challenges and the expected results of those actions,” he said.

Speaking on the award, Publisher, Nigerian NewsDirect Limited, Dr. Samuel Ibiyemi, said that ABCON under Gwadabe’s leadership has helped to stabilise the naira exchange rate against world currencies, especially the dollar.

“If you look at ABCON, you should know that its leadership under Gwadabe has helped to stabilise the naira exchange rate. The BDCs are now partnering with the CBN to achieve and improve market stability. They have been ensuring that only qualified professionals are allowed to engage in BDC business. And through his leadership, we can see the strength of the naira. The ABCON also has a new logo, which ensures that only its nearly 4,000 registered members can operate legally as BDCs,” Ibiyemi said.

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