Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) said it fully supports recent measures of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to check money laundering, and other malpractice in the foreign exchange market.
Recently, the CBN announced some measures to check money laundering tendencies observed in the foreign exchange market. These include the ban on importation of foreign currencies, and suspension of 20 BDCs for not rendering returns and non-compliance with anti-money laundering regulations.
Commenting on these development, Acting President, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said that the measures by the CBN is in line with the position of the ABCON in compliance with regulatory requirements.
“The Association has a zero-tolerance stance when it comes to the issue of compliance with regulatory requirements, especially rendition on returns as well as compliance with approved limits for foreign exchange transactions. We have made it clearly known to our members that we would not hesitate to impose sanctions or report to the CBN, any member found guilty of not complying with these requirements. So we are fully in support of the actions of the CBN. Such action is necessary to ensure sanity in the foreign exchange market, and most importantly the stability of the naira, which is critical to our economy.
The ABCON president said that most of the 3000 licensed BDCs in the country conduct their businesses in compliance with the requirements of the CBN, and only very few are exception. He noted that the actions of these few ones however, are capable of creating negative impression about the BDC sub-sector, and also undermines the stability of the naira.
“Any BDC that is not playing by the rules is a threat to the business of other operators and also to the foreign exchange market as a whole. Such BDC have become a cancer to the system and they should be treated as such”, he said.
“That is why ABCON has put in place measures to ensure its members fully comply with the regulatory requirements”, he added.
For example, the Association introduced compliance officers into its National Executive Council and Zonal Executive council. Last year, it gave new cars to compliance officers around the country, to assist them to go around on inspection visits to BDCs. Also last year, the ABCON held sensitisation seminars on rendition of returns. The seminars were held in all the geo-political zones of the country, and were massively attended by BDCs.
Gwadabe said the Association would hold another round of such seminar this year.