The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has called for the creation of Bureaux De Changes’ (BDC) Autonomous Foreign Exchange Trading Window (BAFEX) with a determined maximum daily limit for legible BDCs to access dollars from banks, autonomous markets and Diaspora forex window at the prevailing market prices.
The call is contained in a statement signed by ABCON’s President, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, at the end of its National Executive Council meeting held in Lagos.
The ABCON boss urged regulatory authorities with oversight functions on BDCs to enhance existing BDCs’ automation portals to file transaction returns on CBN/ABCON/NFIU/NIBSS portals for effective regulatory monitoring and supervision.
Mr Gwadabe also sought the creation of an automation portal to encourage the registration of undocumented and unlicensed operators for effective monitoring, identification and tracking of their transactions.
According to him, the reluctance of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to open new windows through which foreign exchange can be attracted to the economy remains a key factor in the continued fall of the naira.
Mr Gwadabe further said that “the lack of accent on BDCs’ demand that it be included in the remittance inflow channel to allow Nigerians in Diaspora to remit funds to Nigeria through the BDCs under the CBN’s guidance has affected the volume of dollar inflows to the economy.”
According to him, the World Bank’s latest Migration and Development Brief showed that 630 billion dollars were attracted to low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in 2021, with Sub-Saharan Africa attracting 49 billion dollars.
He said, “Nigeria’s contribution to the remittances fund will rise when BDCs are allowed to receive funds into the economy.
“The officially recorded remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries are expected to increase by 4.2 per cent this year to reach 656.5 billion dollars. Nigeria should take immediate steps to be part of the booming remittance market, to boost dollar inflows and stabilise the naira.”
Gwadabe said the BDCs are to perform this role through contactless and digitised channels that make collections easy and seamless.
“There is an urgent need to review the guidelines on BDC’s scope of operations to include participation in payment space, such as agency banking, Point of Sale (PoS) services, inbound and outbound forex transfers, and ATM Forex services, to reflect global business model practice.”
He opined that the BDCs should be allowed to access dollars or Diaspora remittances through the autonomous forex windows allowing operators to receive IMTOs proceeds, carrying out online dollar operations and Point of Sale (PoS) Agency, among others.
Gwadabe further said that “now is the time to break the current industry monopoly that puts the remittances market in the hands of a few players depriving others of tapping into the plan.”