ABCON Sensitises BDCs on BVN Validation Â
By Obinna ChimaÂ
The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) in collaboration with the Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) hasÂ Â sensitised BDCsÂ on usage and deployment of Bank Verification Number (BVN) Validation Portal provided byÂ theÂ NIBBS.
Speaking on the exercise, ABCON President, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said the BVN validation programme was part of the confidence-building agenda of the association to ensure that BDC operators abide by the rules guiding the Nigerian foreign exchange market.
He said the exercise becameÂ necessary,Â given that the world was going digital,Â adding thatÂ BDCs under his leadership must stay ahead of the packÂ byÂ deploying time-tested technology to deliver seamless services to their numerous customers.
According to him, the sensitisation programme was held in the six geopolitical zones â€“ namely Kano, Lagos, Awka and Abuja, among others. The programme, he added, was attended by over 3,500 registered operators across the country.
He added:Â â€œThe ABCON/NIBSS Sensitisation Programme on BVN Validation Portal has been on in the last two months. We are happy that all our six geopolitical zones have been covered. It is our own input to the CBNâ€™s policy implementation and an opportunity to take confidence-building in BDCsâ€™ operations to the next level.â€
According toÂ Gwadabe, his members were willing and committed to abidingÂ by the CBNâ€™s regulations on the forex market.
â€œThe CBN directed BDCs to validate the authenticity of BVN that clients wanting to buy forex submit to them. Already, the BVN is becoming very important to government, hence, we are thinking ahead and equipping our members with the right skills and technology. We are committed to ensuring that our members do not fall short of regulatory requirements,â€ he said.Â
He said the BDCs have supported the CBN to achieve exchange rate stability as seen in the naira exchanging at N360/$1 at the weekend, from over N520/$1 last February.
Gwadabe, however, appealed to the central bankÂ to help BDCs reduce rising bank charges associated with their transactions.
â€œBDCs are charged N1,000 per N1 million transaction and with each operator paying as much as N67,000 for the N67 million monthly transactions. These charges are too high, and I urge the CBN to help reduce the charges which are becoming huge burden on BDC operators,â€ he said.
The CBN had directed all licenced BDCs to ensure that all transactions they consummate have the BVN of the buying customers. The information must be included in the forex returns to the regulator. In the case of corporate customers, the BVN of a director of an authorised signatory of the entity must be provided to the BDC.
Gwadabe explained that to ensure a hitch-free implementation of the directive, the CBN has continuously provided list of all licensed BDCs to the NIBSS to enable the firm make available the necessary hardware token that would be used by the BDC in accessing the NIBSS portal.
The NIBSS has subsequently made the portal available on its website to facilitate access for the confirmation/validation of the BVN number of the BDCsâ€™ customers.
Gwadabe disclosed that the NIBSSâ€™s Portal was developed to enable BDCs comply with the CBNâ€™s directive that BDC customers provide their BVN before buying foreign exchange. He said such BVN must be validated by the CBN authorised forex dealer through the NIBSS portal before all transactions are consummated. He said that ABCON carried out the sensitisation to ensure that BDCs effectively comply with the directive.
The ABCON boss praised the CBNâ€™s drive to stabilise the forex market, stem the rampant cases of forex leakages and illicit money transfer from the country.