By Abisola THOMPSON
Nearly 4,500 Bureau De Change Operators (BDCs) in Nigeria on Tuesday pledged their commitment to transparent and efficient automated transaction so as to eliminate sharp practices and quackery.
Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), made the pledge during the official inauguration of BDC automation process in Lagos.
Gwadabe said during the automation with theme “Digitising BDC Operations for Efficiency, Transparency and Regulatory Compliance”, that it captured the new inventiveness in the sector.
He noted that the initiative prioritises efficiency and honest dealings in line with set policies and regulations.
According to him, BDC automation is geared towards sieving the operations of registered BDCs from street currency hawkers and quack operators.
The president commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS) and the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) for their collaboration in bringing about an automated BDC operation.
He said that the BDCs had helped in stabilising the exchange rate in the last two years.
Gwadabe said that in spite of the efforts of BDCs in exchange rate stability, the sector was still bedevilled with enormous challenges.
He listed multiple exchange rate, abnormal bank charges, Value Added Tax (VAT) and Commission on Turnover (COT) as challenges facing the operations of the sector.
Other challenges are parallel market operators and illegal International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs), porous international borders, complex documentation requirements and poor capacity/skills of operators.
“For instance, the increasing difficulties arising from over regulation and complex documentation requirements that licensed BDCs are facing in carrying out their daily legitimate operation is disturbing.
“These hitches have negative impact on BDCs’ efforts toward compliance to statutory and regulatory requirements.
“Already, six units within the CBN are involved with BDC regulations, supervision, licensing, monitoring, etc,” Gwadabe said.
The ABCON chief urged the CBN to exempt BDCs from Value Added Tax (VAT) and Commission on Turnover (COT).
Another plea from ABCON is for the CBN to reduce BDCs annual license renewal fee and also expand their scope of transactions.
“On deepening capacity/skills of industry operators, we appeal to the CBN to issue Letter of Consent to our proposed training institute.
“This is going to boost the current ABCON Management’s commitment to building capacity for its members and to stimulate competency in the sector the new live rate engine.
“Naijabdcs.com is already providing buying and selling rates across different cities and also average national rate for the country.
“All the CBN-approved BDCs have keyed into this revolution meant to transform the forex market and keep speculators out of the market,” Gwadabe said. —- NAN