The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) and Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) have advised Bureau de Change (BDC) operators to employ designated compliance officers to handle all compliance-related issues.
This will also help in strengthening risk management in the operaations of BDCs.
The advice was given at the end of a four-day joint nation-wide training/sensitisation programme on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) reporting for BDC operators by both institutions.
The training, which has been ongoing since December 11, 2018, focused on the obligation of registering and filling reports on the NFIU’s Anti-Money Laundering portal. A session was held on January 5, 2019 in Kano and another session held on January 22, 2019 in Abuja among others.
As part of the NFIU/ABCON partnership, ABCON has taken the train-the-trainers training of the NFIU to the six geopolitical zones of the country in order to strengthen capacity for over 4,000 BDC operators nationwide.
Speaking at the end of the training, ABCON President, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, was quoted in a statement, to have said the anti-money laundering training was intended to familiarise BDC operators with the process of money laundering – the criminal business used to disguise the true origin and ownership of illegal cash – and the laws that make it a crime.
Gwadabe said the policy on the recruitment of the Designated Compliance Officers by BDCs is already being implemented by ABCON and remains part of the association’s vision to revolutionalise BDC operations in Nigeria for global competitiveness and transparency.
He said that money laundering and terrorist financing pose not only a threat, but are enormous threats and challenges to the economy, security, and social life in Nigeria, the region and globally.
In a statement by NFIU commending ABCON for the training, Ibrahim Pindar, said: “We wish to congratulate the ABCON on the attendance recorded on the concluded training of BDC operators on the key Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) obligation of registering and filling reports on the goAML -Anti-Money Laundering portal”.
The NFIU advised ABCON to train BDCs regularly so as to cover AML/CFT knowledge-gap identified from most operators and also ensure that their members register on the goAML portal.
NFIU recommended that: “Those trained by the NFIU team should be engaged by ABCON to train their members on continuous basis. Any change of Compliance Officer should promptly be reported to the NFIU. ABCON should ensure that the operators have alternates for their compliance officers for succession planning and continuity.”