President Mutharika decries forex externalization – as he opens Reserve Bank of Malawi-Mzuzu Branch

: President Professor Peter Mutharika has decried forex externalisation from Malawi, saying that is a factor that makes the country poor despite making enough money.

“As a country, we are not poor as we think, we make enough money but we are losing money in forex externalisation, we are losing more money than all the aid that comes from outside the country,” said Mutharika.

The President was speaking on Wednesday in Mzuzu when he officially opened the Reserve Bank of Malawi-Mzuzu Branch at the bank premises.

Mutharika said Malawi needs to deal with the problem of forex externalisation if the economy is to grow.

“We must hurry to arrest and slay this monster of forex externalisation once and for all,” said Mutharika.

He, therefore, called on the Reserve Bank of Malawi, Malawi Revenue Authority and other players dealing with forex externalisation to curb the malpractice.

He added that as he has opened Mzuzu Branch (of the Reserve Bank), the institution (RBM) should open a new chapter, and reform their policies and services urgently as they are in the driving seat of the financial sector.

The President said if Malawi is to become a big economy, there is need for laws that regulate the economy, adding that the nation cannot progress with Acts that are older than its democracy.

“Most laws were made while we were thinking small as a nation and this is one of our problems. We have been thinking poor and small for a long time, we need to think and plan big if we are to grow big as a nation,” he advised.

The Malawi leader said the City of Mzuzu deserves magnificent structures, just like Lilongwe and Blantyre, hence the opening of Mzuzu RBM branch.

The look of the RBM Mzuzu building project, said the president, tells that Malawi is moving forward and that economic development is spreading in all the regions of the country.

Further, he said RBM constructed a reserve bank branch in Mzuzu because Mzuzu is the centre of economic activities in the Northern Region.

“We all know that we cannot build a bank where nothing economic is happening. It is because there are growing economic activities in this region that we can now have a branch of the reserve bank,” he added.

Commenting on the magnificent look of the newly constructed RBM building and how it has transformed the city’s outlook. Mutharika said he wished there were 10 such buildings in the city, saying it deserves magnificent buildings just like Blantyre and Lilongwe.

Earlier, the Reserve Bank of Malawi Governor, Charles Chuka, said the opening of Reserve Bank-Mzuzu Branch is a milestone in the growth of the RBM and the financial sector in Malawi, saying it has brought its services closer to the people in Mzuzu City and the entire region.

Chuka said plans to construct the reserve bank branch started in 2010 when the bank noticed tremendous increase in the economic activities in Mzuzu City and Northern Region.

He said by then, RBM was operating through Standard Bank and National Bank branches, and later FDH Bank to distribute currency in the Northern Region.

As a result, said Chuka, the bank was making frequent trips to Mzuzu to deliver fresh currency to its sub-chests and to collect soiled notes for sorting at its head office.

During the official opening ceremony of the Mzuzu Branch, the Reserve Bank of Malawi awarded National Bank of Malawi with a trophy for offering best services to its customers in Mzuzu.

The RBM building in Mzuzu has been constructed at the cost of K18.4 billion, according to the reserve bank governor.

Source: Malawi News Agency