By Oludare Mayowa
The Bureau de Change operators in the country are at the final phase of automation of its operations in a bid to integrate it with the regulatory bank and other supervisory agencies as the sub-sector turnover hit N1 trillion.
According to the President of the Association of Bureau de Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Aminu Gwadabe, the digitisation of BDCs operations started with the launch of the ABCON Live Run Automation Portal in Lagos.
“The project, which has the backing of the CBN ended decades of manual filling of regulatory reports by BDCs and enhances global competitiveness of operators.
“We believe that the full digitization of BDCs operations is a boost for financial system stability and the economy ahead of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) assessment for Nigeria this year.
“The portal, which is a game changer in the Nigerian BDC Industry, is the final phase of automating all BDCs’ operations and integrating them with the operations of CBN, NFIU and Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) for improved compliance with regulation and seamless operations,” Gwadabe said at a virtual general meeting with key stakeholders on Wednesday.
Gwadabe appeal to the regulatory bank to allow BDCs to participate in the process of Diaspora remittance and also allowed foreign investors to trade in forex through the sub-sector.
He said offshore investors should be made to interact with the bid and offer rates of the BDCs while the sub-sector should be made payout agents for remittances.
Currently, BDCs source forex from private individuals and weekly intervention from the CBN. However, operators are eager to expand their operations into the sources largely reserve for banks and other major foreign exchange operators.
The CBN reform introduced last year now allows banks to pay out dollar cash or deposit into domiciliary accounts of recipients of diaspora remittances as part of measures to boost forex inflow into the country.
BDCs operators have always been canvassing inclusion in the forex transactions process as a way of expanding their operations and enhance the value of the local currency.
Gwadabe decried the current wide margin between the fixed exchange rates and the flexible rate where investors and other private individuals traded, noting that this provides room for arbitraging.
He said many unlicensed individuals and organizations are taking advantage of the gap to illegally operate as diaspora remittances agents.
The ABCON president wants the CBN to close up the gap as part of measures to discourage arbitraging.