The Managing Director /CEO of Coleman Wires and Cables, George Onafowokan, says 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 who is also the Chairman, Electrical/Electronic Sectorial Group of MAN said this in an exclusive chat with members of the Commerce and Industry Correspondent Association of Nigeria (CICAN) in his office in Lagos.
According to the industrialist, 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℅ of the Forex amount.”
“This gives rise to blotted figures that does not reflect the actual demand in the market leading to further devaluation of the local currency.” He said.
Mr 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.
He advised 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.
“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.” Onafowokan said.
Onafowokan advised Government to borrow a leaf from Coleman Wires and cables that has devised ingenious ideas to solve difficult problems.
According to him, the company has within 6years exited a negative position to grow its net worth into billions of Naira and is now working with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to ensure steady power supply in the country, with the production of one of the latest technology driven power towline, Gap Cable, that has the capacity to carry more load than existing cables.
In his words; “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 among other innovative products. The company, in collaboration with our foreign partner, has acquired all the necessary equipment and technology to produce Fiber-optic cable in Nigeria. This would be first in the whole of West and Central Africa.”
He noted that over time, 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.