Banking Finance

BDC operators mull operation automation to stem street trading of forex, others

The Association of Bureau De’Change Operators of Nigeria has concluded plans to automate its trading operations to eliminate the activities of market speculators and street traders.
This was as the association backed the recent clampdown by the government on persons selling and buying foreign currencies on the streets.
Since the year started, Nigeria’s local currency has depreciated severely, sliding down to N1,900 on Wednesday owing to low liquidity and surging demand for the US dollar.
The ABCON President, Aminu Gwadabe, speaking in an interview with our correspondent on Wednesday, said the association has developed an automation platform, which, if okayed by the Central Bank of Nigeria, would help revolutionise the retail FX market.
He noted that the automation process will be launched in three weeks pending a “no objection” approval from the CBN.
Gwadabe said, “We have now put a lot of recommendations on how we can at least utilise technology, innovation, and automation in our operations.
“In three weeks, we will automate the system. We already have the automation system in place just for the CBN to give us the approval for “No Objection” that is all we asking.
“We can entirely automate the industry of any retail trader, we will automate them in three weeks, we already built the automation platform it is there for them. We have sent it to them, and we are only waiting for ‘no objection’ approval. This innovation will also eliminate street trading.”
Gwadabe further advised that the ongoing raids and arrests of traders should not be misconstrued, revealing that FX street traders ambush customers of licensed operators, thereby causing a lull in their operations.
He added, “What is happening is not targeted at licenced Bureau De’Change but the operators of FX street trading.
“For us, we are against street trading and support any action that will remove FX street traders. Their activities affect me also. I have an office but my clients cannot come to my office because of the menace of street traders.”
On the volatility in the FX market, Gwadabe explained that various factors, including the imbalance between supply and demand and liquidity, were responsible.
He urged members of the association to strictly adhere to all FX regulations and conduct their operations within their offices.
On Wednesday, the naira depreciated further to N1,900 against the dollar in the parallel market.
According to currency operators, the naira exchange declined by 9.83 per cent from the N1,730 recorded at the beginning of the week and N170 or 9.82 per cent from the trading rate on Tuesday.
This is even as Bureau de Change operators battle for liquidity to meet the surging demands for the greenback.
On Wednesday, BDC operators quoted the buying rate at N1,850 and the selling rate at N1,900, leaving a profit margin of N50.

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