ABCON Warns Black Market Forex Dealers

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)-licenced Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators have declared war on foreign exchange (forex) speculators and black market dealers for distorting the naira exchange rate against the dollar and other global currencies.

Speaking during a virtual meeting with members of the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) across all the six geo-political zones in Nigeria, ABCON President, Alhaji  Aminu Gwadabe, said the BDCs would not allow forex speculators and street hawkers to take over BDC business through their illegal practices.

The ABCON boss, who spoke on the theme: “ABCON sensitisation against volatility in the exchange rate”, among others, said licensed BDCs would continue to defend the naira through regulatory compliance and supporting the CBN to achieve stable exchange rate and attract forex.

He said the sensitisation  would upscale BDCs’ compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT).

Gwadabe said: “Please, now is the time to support the CBN to achieve stable exchange rate. Do not allow forex speculators, street hawkers to take over our business. Constantly comply with CBN’s regulations on rendition of returns and corporate governance practices because aside helping in stabilising the naira, the CBN examiners can visit your offices and defaulting members will be sanctioned.”

According to him, members can be spot-checked by the CBN examiners and should, therefore, put in place measures to align with the regulatory policies.

“Be vigilant in your operations because you can be spot-checked by the CBN examiners at any time. All BDCs should appoint compliance officers and data protection officers as directed by the CBN which is also in-line with the global best practices. Also, avoid sending your returns late, selling dollar above CBN approved rate,” he advised.

Gwadabe said by following the rules, the operators would set an example and make forex buyers lose confidence in black market dealers.

He said every BDC operator needs the knowledge and understanding of how to raise and submit both the Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) to regulators, understand  the obligation of registering and filling reports on the NFIU AML -Anti-Money Laundering portal and documentation of forex sales.

He said BDCs should file their  reports promptly weekly to NFIU,  CBN, and Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as well as Know Your Customer (KYC) and due diligence reports.

He noted that the digitisation of BDCs operations remained a priority for the ABCON management.

He said the digitisation vision was realised with the launch and take off of the ABCON Live Run Automation Portal.

The project, which has the backing of the Central Bank of Nigeria ended decades of manual filling of regulatory reports by BDCs, enhances global competitiveness of operators  and raises hope of higher transaction margin.

– The Nation

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