BDCs can help CBN end multiple exchange rates – ABCON boss

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The President, the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to use the Bureaux De Change operators to end multiple rate practices and usher in stability in the foreign market.

He noted that the CBN’s operational manual defined BDCs as small retail end institutions licensed to carry on the business of selling Personal Travel Allowances, Business Travel Allowances, school fees and medical bills payment abroad, among other roles, at the criteria retail end of the foreign exchange market.

However, he noted that the various policies of the CBN on the operations of the sub-sector continued to be inhibitive and limiting BDCs’ from providing their constitutional roles in the forex market and economy.

Gwadabe called for a collaboration between the BDCs and the CBN in the implementation of market-friendly policies that would make the BDCs’ impact more positively in the market and promote exchange rate stability in the economy.

The ABCON boss said the hasty generalisation that criminalised the BDC sub-sector as responsible for all market crisis and infractions like selling dollars with higher premium above regulatory limit, promoting loss of confidence in the near and multiplicity of the exchange rates was not in the best interest of the market and economy.

“It is in view of this disturbing situation and the need to strengthen BDCs value chain as obtainable in organised climes that we urge the regulators and policymakers to consider BDCs as the most potent tool in liberalising the foreign exchange market and stopping multiples exchange rates in the system,” he said.

He explained that the BDCs had, since 2006, provided policymakers with a window in achieving their mandate of exchange rate stability and price equilibrium.

ABCON president called for the reintegration of the BDCs into the forex market ecosystem to sustain their roles in the economy.

Gwadabe said the BDCs had, for years, remained effective and creative in contributing to the forex market.

For instance, he added, the introduction of the Investors & Exports FX window in 2017 was as a result of agitations from stakeholders like ABCON, foreign investors and Nigerians in the diaspora who advocated for it to allow more dollar inflows into the economy to boost foreign reserves and raise confidence in the naira by addressing widening rate premiums.

He said, “In order to address the challenges facing the forex market, now is the time to integrate BDCs into the market activities as agent of stabilisation and delivering the market to the promised land.”

On how ready the BDCs were for the responsibility, Gwadabe said the operators  had, for years, been preparing for a time like this by integrating technology into their operations and promoting efficiency and transparency in their businesses.

For instance, he said, ABCON trained compliance officers to ensure they were acquainted with what was required of them, especially on monthly rendition of results and tracking illicit capital flows to the market through compliance initiatives.

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