Ahead of FX Market Resumption, ABCON Calls for Adherence to Rules

Aminu Gwadabe

Obinna Chima

The Association of Bureau de Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) yesterday advised all operators in the retail segment of the foreign exchange (FX) market to adhere to all laid down rules as the market reopens on Monday.

President of ABCON, Alhaji Amimu Gwadabe, made the call during a webinar with the topic: “Resumption of Foreign Currency Sales to BDCs, Covid-19, Challenges, Compliance and Way Forward.”

“ABCON is in support of any penalty or sanction against any member. In fact, we normally recommend that the central bank should sanction any member that flouts the rules. All our members are expected to comply.

“We are also calling on our members to ensure that they render their returns to both the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit. Most importantly, our members should not sell FX to unauthorised buyers. A lot of BDCs had been sanctioned in the past, for selling to unauthorised buyers,” he warned.

He listed such unauthorised buyers to include importers, saying that the BDCs are only expected to sell the greenback to retail users such as travelers, medicals and payment of school fees.

Gwadabe, also announced that funding of transactions for disbursement would commence in four zones of the country, starting from September 4.

He added: “I want to discuss the procedures in the new resumption, they are not new, but due to Covid-19 and as an institution, we must observe certain measures that are being played down by the government. To ordinary financial transactions or funding of transactions for disbursement will start this Friday in four zones.

“We have Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Awka Zones. These are our four services providers; and in Port Harcourt, Travelex is back, they are the ones to detect the disbursement of foreign currency to our members in the zone.

“So we are happy to announce to CBN that our waiting areas are ready and we are engaging the payment service providers in all the five payment services areas to ensure we have smooth operation,” he explained.

According to him, as part of readiness to resume operations, the association had introduced a queuing management systems called” 360 QMS,” to allow members work virtually from the comfort of their homes. He disclosed that about 4,000 members are already on the platform, adding that other preventive measures such as washing hand basins, hand sanitisers and face masks had also been provided to members ahead of the resumption of trading on Monday.

Gwadebe said the association was faced with the challenge of smaller margin, even as he reiterated his appeal for the CBN to allow BDCs to be in the payment platforms and carry out remittances.