ABCON Seeks Greater Role in FG’s Economic Recovery Drive

  • CBN injects additional $210m into FX market

The Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has called for the support of federal government to its sub-sector in order to enhance its contribution to the ongoing drive to stimulate economic growth.

According to ABCON, in India, the BDCs generate over $30 billion from the Diaspora remittances, adding that in the United Arab Emirates, the entire banking needs of banks are met by the BDCs.

The President of ABCON, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, who said this in Lagos yesterday, during the launch, a new website that was developed by the association to deliver real-time forex rates, also argued that the Lebanon economy is highly dependent on the activities of BDCs in that country.

“We can also achieve higher revenues from BDCs in Nigeria if the government gives us all the necessary support,” he said.

According to the ABCON boss, the BDC sector is confronted with many challenges such as multiple exchange rate, abnormal bank charges, Value Added Tax (VAT) and Commission on Turnover (COT), parallel market operators and illegal International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs), porous international boarders, complex documentation requirements and poor capacity/ skills of operators.

He added: “The increasing difficulties arising from over regulation and complex documentation requirements that licensed BDC operators are facing in carrying out their daily legitimate operation remain worrisome.

“These hitches have negative impact on BDCs’ efforts toward compliance to statutory and regulatory requirements.
“For instance, six units within the CBN are involved with BDC regulations, supervision, licensing, monitoring, saying these constitute multiple regulation of a unit of the financial sub-sector that is only involved as a small market player.

“A BDC operator is expected to render daily, monthly, quarterly, half yearly and annual returns to these various departments of the same corporate body, which could be very cumbersome, repetitive and time consuming for both the operator and the regulator.

“In addition to the above, the BDC is also under obligation to render same returns to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission /Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit, while at the same time reporting to other statutory government establishments, including the Federal Inland Revenue Service and Corporate Affairs Commission respectively.”

Gwadabe also reiterated his appeal to the CBN to take urgent steps to review the rate at which dollar is sold to BDCs in order to boost ongoing recovery of the naira against dollar.

He said ABCON decided to develop the website because a lot of Nigerians and businesses had endured the publication of subjective news in the industry through channels whose sources could be trusted.

“It was on this premise that the ABCON decided to challenge the status quo with a superior idea and platform in the which is being launched today as a viable voice in financial and business news reporting,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday injected the sum of $210 million into the interbank forex market in continuation of its efforts to sustain liquidity in the market. The central bank offered the sum of $100 million to authorised dealers in the wholesale segment of the market. The SMEs segment received the sum of $55 million while the sum of $55 million was apportioned to invisibles such as tuition fees, medical payments and Basic Travel Allowance (BTA)

A statement from the Bank’s Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, confirmed the figures and reiterated CBN’s capacity to continue to sustain the foreign exchange intervention.