The Association of Bureaux De Change of Nigeria (ABCON) has stated that Bureaux De Change (BDCs) are at the centre of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) exchange rate policies.
The ABCON President, Aminu Gwadabe, who disclosed this in Lagos, said the CBN suspension of forex sales to the BDCs will not lead to revocation of licenses as the operators are still under the purview of CBN regulations.
Gwadabe, said the small retail exchange institutions – BDCs- remain at the centre of CBN’s exchange rate policies implementation, hence the need for the regulator and public to continuously support BDCs’ roles in exchange rate stability.
This, he added, can be achieved through increased automation of their processes and providing more channels of transactions for sustainable price equilibrium while eradicating rent seeking, currency substitution and speculation.
“I am very confident that Nigeria will in not too distant future appreciate a stable exchange rate and availability of forex in the local economy as the right people for government policies’ implementation get such responsibility, “he stated.
Gwadabe cited the Naira-4-Dollar scheme of N5 bonus for every $1 diaspora remittances as well as the N65 rebate for every dollar of non-oil export proceeds and other incentives as commendable, but require total overhaul with stakeholders’ engagement.
“I am not a prophet of doom and student of continuing naira depreciation but except fundamental goodwill and courage is demonstrated, the naira will continue to suffer loss in exchange for the greenbacks,” Gwadabe maintained.
While responding to a question on where the BDCs are sourcing forex, he said though some BDCs are lucky to be operating at the international airport and other off-table transactions, majority of them are out of business due to lack or total absence of alternative sources.
“A licensed BDC in Nigeria cannot access oil proceeds, non-oil proceeds, and diaspora remittances. We need expansionary regulatory approvals on the scope of transactions and margin reviews,” Gwadabe said.
According to him, an average BDC operator licensed by CBN is comatose and heading for extinction.
To strengthen the naira, Gwadabe believes it is time to allow competition and mutually-beneficial engagements among stakeholders and regulators.