ABCON urges CBN to grant BDCs digital autonomy for rate convergence, others

The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to grant Bureaux De Change (BDCs) digital autonomy to achieve exchange rate convergence.

In a report released at the weekend, ABCON President,  Aminu Gwadabe, called on the apex bank to grant a no objection approval for the BDCs to fully go digital on all their operational correspondences.

He said the move would bring about rate convergence, curb volatility in the market and promote economic growth.

According to him, ABCON had in the past, led its members to achieve rate convergence in 2006, 2009, 2018 to 2020 before the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020.

Gwadabe said granting digital autonomy to the operators will lead to a true market rate discovery, enhance the achievement of the federal Government harmonized foreign exchange rate policies and promote effective monitoring of BDCs transactions for statutory and regulatory requirement.

He said aside providing employment for over 40,000 employees within the sector, digital autonomy for operators will usher in transparency, accountability and ease of supervision.

According to him: “As a proactive organisation and an umbrella body of central bank licensed BDCs and  in Line with the CBN planned reforms on BDCs for tech compliance, ABCON started various digitisation reforms since 2016 to date for licensed operators.”

ABCON boss also stressed that now is the time for the CBN to democratise and centralise digital operational mechanism for all BDCs, by granting all operators the autonomy to go digital.

Gwadabe advised the CBN to diversify BDCs’ scope of operation and business model from cash-based to digital payment.

He said the platform inaugurated by ABCON in 2018 was a step by the group to digitize operations of BDCs in the country.

“ABCON has invested several millions of naira in IT research, developments, designs, implementations of various layers of automation on business transformation from manual to digital. Our members  now have transactions monitoring systems with installed IT office equipments and internet connections,” he said.

“Our members now record their transactions on Amazon Web Service (AWS) online real time and  extract their daily reports for return rendition. Operators have also integrated with NIBSS, Bank Verification Number verification and validation platforms,” he said.

The BDCs through the collaborations of ABCON and NFIU 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.

The BDCs have also complied with the appointment of Compliance Officer as directed by the CBN with members constantly trained and retrained on regulatory compliance.