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ABCON urges CBN to make BDCs Diaspora remittances agents

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The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators payout agents for the Diaspora remittances.

Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, ABCON President, gave the advice at the group’s Annual General meeting (AGM) held virtually on Wednesday in Lagos.

The theme of the AGM was : “BDC Operations: A Trillion Naira Sub-Sector, Issues of Formalisation, Regulations and Way Forward.”

Gwadabe said that if investors and Diaspora remittance senders were allowed to interact freely with the BDCs, the exchange market liquidity would be stronger.

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“ABCON suggests to the CBN to make the BDCs Diaspora remittances pay agents.

“The CBN introduced the Investors and Exporters (I&E) Window which allows foreign investors to freely bring their funds into the economy at a rate of their choice.

“A similar plan was implemented by the CBN in 2016/2017 and the impact was massive in boosting foreign capital flows to the economy and deepening exchange market liquidity.

“Therefore, ABCON suggests that the CBN allows investors and Diaspora remittance senders to freely interact with the BDCs’ bid and offer rates and make the BDCs pay out agents for remittances,” he said.

Gwadabe also said that the BDCs were currently commanding a one trillion naira annual turnover in the economy.

According to him, we have achieved this through decades of commitments put into the sector against all odds.

“We are happy to announce that the licenced BDCS sub-sector is commanding one trillion naira annual turnover in the economy.

“The foreign currencies dealt in by a BDC is derived from private sources and such, other sources which may include the CBN window as determined by the CBN from time to time.

”The CBN window is for the purposes of funding Business Travel Allowance, Personal Travel Allowance, school fees payment abroad, medicals, mortgage and subscriptions.

“The BDCs also access dollars from other autonomous sources such as the Diaspora Remittances, walk in customers and bank sources,” he added.

Gwadabe said that the BDCs had ensured that the market gained the needed liquidity that has ensured the exchange rate remained stable and illegal operators put out of business.

He called for increased border checks and controls to stop unlawful cash evacuations to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), China and Lebanon.

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“So, given the state of our porous borders which usually lead to unlawful cash evacuations to the UAE, China and Lebanon, there is urgent need for increased border checks and controls,” he said.

Gwadabe said that the huge gaps between the fixed exchange rates and the flexible exchange rates in the market served as an incentive for arbitrage and use of unlicensed channels for huge diaspora inflows.

According to him, this gap should be bridged to discourage those profiting from it.

Gwadabe added that the BDCs sub-sector had generated over 20,000 employment for Nigerians and would continue to promote exchange rate stability, education of fake currencies and boosting market liquidity.

The Director, Trade and Exchange, CBN, represented by Mr Williams Kanya, commended the association for its professionalism over the years.

Kanya noted that the association had evolved over the years in terms of professionalism and efficiency.

He said that the hi-tech ABCON brought into the system, expansions, collaborations and understanding with all authorities.

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