Forex retailers seek inclusion of bureau de change as diaspora remittances payout agents
President of the Association of Bureau de Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) Aminu Gwadabe has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to include forex retailers as part of the implementation agents of its new diaspora remittances policy.
Last month, the CBN liberalised its policy on diaspora remittances by allowing recipients to collect their money in dollar cash through local banking agents .
The policy was a significant shift from the previous arrangement where International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) disbursed remittances in naira to recipients through their local agent banks.
In a Whatsapp message to Global Financial Digest on Monday, Gwadabe said bureau de change operators should be made payout agents for diaspora remittances to enable accessibility of the greenbacks by the beneficiaries.
According to him, “the operators of bureau de change combined together with over 5,000 outlets and the biggest in the market can conveniently close the gaps of the mobile money operators.”
He listed the benefits of allowing Bureau de change operators as payout agents as;
1. Achieving market price equilibrium.
2. Increased liquidity.
3. Buffers accretion.
4. Enhancement of bdcs capacity, sustainability of operations.
5. Exchange rate stability.
6. Confidence and defence of our local currency and improving investors confidence.
The ABCON President noted that for Nigeria to get the full value of what is due to her in the remittance market, BDCs have to be included in the remittances payment channels and allowed to receive funds from Nigerians in Diaspora.
Gwadabe said the BDCs remain the largest foreign currency operators in Nigeria, hence making them payout agents for Diaspora remittances will protect the market from forex cartel that refuses to follow rules set by the apex bank.
Nigeria is currently estimated to receive up to $25 billion in diaspora remittances yearly, more than capital importations and even dollar from oil exports into the country.
It has been projected that if Nigeria is able to manage the process of remittances, it will reduce the pressure on its foreign reserves.
The local currency has rebounded since the CBN announced the lifting of the ban on the disbursement of diaspora remittances in local currency.
The naira traded around N465 to the dollar, according to Gwadabe while he expected further rally in the local currency against the greenback.
The ABCON President said the CBN policy on diaspora remittances have helped naira rebound from N500 per dollar to N465 since its announcement.