By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Bureaux De Change (BDCs) operators have asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to bring them back into the foreign exchange (forex) market in order to stabilise the system.
Last year, the apex bank stopped the sale of FX to operators in the sub-sector over allegations of round-tripping, fraud, terrorism financing and others.
Since the action was taken, the value of the Naira paired with the United States Dollar has depreciated at the black market, selling at N600/$1.
Worried by the bad state of the local currency, the BDCs, under the aegis of the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) led by Mr Aminu Gwadabe, want the central bank to change its mind on the suspension.
Speaking at the weekend, Mr Gwadabe submitted that the reintegration of his members into the forex market ecosystem as this would be beneficial to the country’s lender tender.
“To address the challenges facing the forex market now is the time to integrate BDCs into the market activities as agents of stabilisation and delivering the market to the promised land,” he stated.
According to him, BDCs remain the best tool to serve the retail end of the FX market based on the CBN operational manual for his members.
He said BDCs operators, unlike commercial banks, can seamlessly sell forex to customers in need of foreign currencies for Personal Travel Allowance (PTA), Business Travel Allowance (BTA), school fees and medical bills payment abroad.
Mr Gwadabe emphasised that the role of ABCON in the system cannot be pushed aside as it has over the years established itself as a key player in the BDC industry.
He frowned at the hasty generalisation of criminalising his members as being responsible for the market crisis and infractions like selling dollars with higher premiums above regulatory limit, promoting a loss of confidence in the near, and multiplicity of the exchange rates is not in the best interest of the market and economy.
“It is in view of this disturbing situation and the need to strengthen BDCs value chain as obtainable in organised climes that we urge the regulators and policymakers to consider BDCs as the most potent tool in liberalising the foreign exchange market and stopping multiples exchange rates in the system,” Mr Gwadabe said.