By Babajide Komolafe
ASSOCIATION of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria, ABCON, has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to implement provisions of its 2014 circular which makes BDCs direct agents of international money transfer operators, IMTOs, as obtained in other countries.
The association also called for the restoration of its status as a self regulatory organization, SRO, in order to ensure effective coordination of the over 4,5000 BDCs across the country.
The association made this call in its Economic Review for the fourth quarter of 2018 (Q1’18) released last week, saying: “In as much as the regulatory bodies in Nigeria have realized the indispensable role that the BDC sub sector occupies in the stabilization of the currency in Nigeria, the sector should be further strengthened and developed to achieve greater systemic efficiency.
“To this end, the professional training institute for dealers and operators being promoted by ABCON should be given appropriate support by the regulators and members to key into the project. The CBN should implement its circular of 2014 for making BDCs direct agents of international money transfer operators as obtained in other climes. The CBN should revisit the suspension of ABCON as a self regulatory organisation for result oriented coordination of the over 4500 CBN licensed BDCs.
“CBN should support ABCON to increase public awareness and public visit to naijabdcs.com, the association’s live exchange rate platform, which contributed immensely to the price discovery, transparency in the foreign exchange market and has become reference point for source of credible exchange rate information.”
ABCON also called on BDCs to embrace the cloud base automation of their operations initiated by the Association for internal reorganisation, efficiency, global competitiveness and volumes driven transactions.
It also charged BDCs to explore more sophisticated and dynamic marketing techniques in 2019 to track billions of foreign currencies floating within the economy and flowing into the “Black Market” thereby incubating capital flight and money laundering.
ABCON also stressed the need to stabilize the exchange rate regime, saying: “the current structure encourages the economy comparatively to export and derive robust foreign reserve which is one of the major prerequisite for economic growth.”
Calling on the federal government to promote strong railway networks across the country to leverage on regional connections and coordination to enhance Nigeria’s competitiveness, ABCON noted: “Nigeria’s home market suffers from spatial fragmentation according to the analysis. The domestic market is constrained by limited connective infrastructure thereby reducing producers and firms’ ability to reach wider markets. This lack of connectivity also dampens economic collaboration and cooperation among the country’s regions further hampering the prospects for poverty reduction. Thus during 2019 and beyond every effort must be marshaled to promote strong railway networks to reduce pressure on the land road network in the nation.”
ABCON also called on the federal government to address the incidences of insecurity Nationwide and greater diversification of the economy, noting that, “Solid minerals are currently being mismanaged and smuggled out the country denying the economy of its much needed support.
Currently the growth projections were expected to come from the oil and gas sector given the increase in the price of crude oil which by projections is not expected to be stable in 2019.”