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Forex uncertainties, great challenge to manufacturers – Onafowakan

The persistent uncertainties in the foreign exchange market have been identified as a major challenge to the manufacturers in the country.

The Managing Director /CEO of Coleman  Wires and Cables, Mr. George Onafowokan, who disclosed this to the Commerce and Industry Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CICAN) in an exclusive interview in Lagos, noted that the current  uncertainties in the Nigerian Forex market is posing a great challenge to the relevant administrative authorities and the industry as a whole.

Onafowokan noted that the scarcity of Forex is forcing businesses to consider painful alternatives such as the black market.

“The inconsistencies, poor management and lack of inflows prompt bidders to place higher bids than they actually need because at the end they may not get up to 20 per cent of the Forex amount.”

“This gives rise to blotted figures that does not reflect the actual demand inthe market leading to further devaluation of the local currency,” he said.

Onafowokan, who is a nominee for the 2021 prestigious CICAN Award argued that if the Apex bank increases the supply of Forex to meet the demand at a market equilibrium price there would come a time when investors and other stakeholders will be seeking to buy the Naira in exchange for foreign currencies thereby strengthening the local currency.

The MD called the Government to settle all outstanding Forex liabilities as the first step towards easing the current crisis in the market as well as allow the Naira to find its true exchange rate.

In his own words, “I wouldn’t say the current exchange rate of about N430 or thereabouts is a true reflection of the market price but somewhere between that and N500.”

He advised the government to borrow a leaf from Coleman Wires and cables that has devised ingenious ideas to solving difficult problems.

According to him, the company has within 6years exited a negative position to grow it’s net worth into billions of Naira and is now working with the Transaction Company of Nigeria (TCN) to ensure steady power supply in the country with the supply of one of the latest technology driven power conductor, Gap Cable, that has the capacity to carry more load than existing cables.

“Our company has acquired the technology and capabilities to manufacture various cables that were previously imported with huge foreign currencies.

“We now produce Gap Cables and Marine Cables. The company in collaboration with our foreign partner has acquired all the necessary equipment and technology to produce Fiberoptic cable in Nigeria. This would be first in the whole of West and Central Africa.”

He said,” As the Chairman, Electrical/Electronics Sectoral Group of MAN, Coleman Wires and cables has been able to ward off stiff competition from imported wire products and is now a dominant global player in the industry with quality and affordable products.”

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