The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to democratise and centralise the operation of its members by granting them autonomy to go digital.
Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, the President of ABCON, disclosed this to newsmen on Sunday in Lagos.
Gwadabe said that the appeal has become necessary against the backdrop of recent CBN planned reforms on BDCs, urging them to be tech savvy.
“In view of the above, we call on the CBN to diversify our scope of operation and business model from cash based to less cash and digital platforms. ABCON, in the lunch of its vision for BDCs digitisation through its exchange rate platform (naijabdcs.com), unveiled in 2018, have long prepared its members to embrace technology. It is also important to note that ABCON have spent several millions in IT research and developments, designs, implementations of various layers of automation of the business transformation process from manual to digital. Our members have through automation now have transactions monitoring systems with installed IT office equipment and internet in their location. Our members now record their transaction on AWS I -Cloud real time on line and extract their daily reports for return rendition, online real time interface with the CBN,” Gwadabe said.
The ABCON boss said that sometime in 2019, BDCs were integrated into the Nigerian Inter Bank Settlement System (NIBSS) clients’ BVN verification and validation platform in carrying out transactions with its members.
Gwadabe said that BDCs through the collaborations of ABCON and the Nigerian Fraud Intelligence Unit (NFIU) have registered on the GoAML platforms and Nil-returns platform for the rendition of their suspicious and cash transactions threshold to the NFIU in compliance with their AML/CFT obligations.
“We have also ensured that each of us execute compliance undertaking and appointment of a Compliance Officer. ABCON also constantly train and retrain, sensitise its members with regulators and security agencies as resource persons. ABCON as a custodian of regulation and auto regulatory organisation believe that the BDCs posed the most effective, transparent pass-through effect and transmission mechanism of the CBN foreign exchange policies. We have achieved convergence of rates in 2006, 2009 and 2018 to 2020 before the outbreak of COVID -19 in 2020,” Gwadabe said.
The ABCON chief said that it is in the light of the verifiable feats earlier mentioned that it is calling on the apex bank to grant a no- objection approval to various correspondences to it to grant BDCs the autonomy to embrace digital payment to the sub sector to achieve rate convergence.
He listed the benefits of the autonomy to include, but not limited to the following:
- “First it will lead to a true market rate discovery.
- “Secondly, it will enhance the achievement of the Federal Government’ harmonized foreign exchange rate policies.
- “Thirdly, it will make the BDCs transactions monitoring system effective and in conformance with their compliance obligation to statutory and regulatory requirement.
- “Fourthly, it will harmonised and centralise the market and thus making the BDCs the moderating and correcting mechanism for the market.
- “Fifthly, it will create additional employment to the over 40,000 employees directly and indirectly in the BDCs sub sector,” Gwadabe said.
He added that the autonomy would usher in transparency, accountability and ease of supervision of transactions in the BDC subsector of the FX market.