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Financial Transactions: CBDs pledge transparent, efficient systems

About 4,500 Bureau De Change Operators (BDCs) in Nigeria on Tuesday pledged to be guided by transparent and efficient automated transaction.

Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, the President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), who spoke on behalf of its members, gave the commitment at the official inauguration of BDCs automation process in Lagos.

At the ceremony tagged; “Digitising BDC Operations for Efficiency, Transparency and Regulatory Compliance’’, Gwadabe said automation captures 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 toward sieving the operations of registered BDCs from street currency hawkers and fake operators.

The president commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Nigeria Inter-bank Settlement System (NIBSS), and 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.

The financial expert said that in spite of the efforts of BDCs in exchange rate stability, the sector was still bedeviled with enormous challenges.

He listed multiple exchange rates, abnormal bank charges, Value Added Tax (VAT) and Commission on Turnover (COT) as challenges facing the sector.

Other challenges included; 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 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 BDCs regulations, supervision, licensing, and monitoring among others,’’ Gwadabe said.

The ABCON chief urged the CBN to exempt BDCs from Value Added Tax (VAT) and Commission on Turnover (COT)

According to him, ABCON also wants 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 present ABCON Management commitment in 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.

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