Nigeria: Bureau De Change Firms' Turnover Hit N1 Trillion Annually

15 April 2021

Lagos — Bureau De Change(BDC) operators are already pulling a turnover of N1 trillion annually, hence, demanding that they should allowed to play the remittance end of foreign exchange market in the country.

Speaking at the Association of Bureau de Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) virtual meeting yesterday, president of the association, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said, the gap between the value of the naira on the streets and the official market value can be closed if they are granted the permission to play in the remittance end of the forex market.

He said, "licenced BDC operators were commanding a N1 trillion annual turnover, they have evolved to become key players in the foreign exchange market having made several commitments to ensure that the sector continues to thrive against all odds."

" The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introduced the Investors and Exporters (I &E) window which allows foreign investors to freely bring their funds into the economy at a rate of their choice. Similar plan was implemented by the CBN in 2016 /2017 and the impact was massive in boosting foreign capital flows to the economy and deepening exchange market liquidity."

To this end, he said the association is appealing to the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) to allow iinvestors and Diaspora Remittances senders to freely interact with the BDCs bid and offer rates and make the BDCs pay out agents for remittances. He also lamented the choice of many Nigerians to patronise street hawkers rather than transact with registered BDCs.

Noting that up to 85 per cent of remittance inflows end up on the streets, he said, with some of the remittances coming through the BDC, the value of the naira would gain strength sooner than anticipated.

"The huge gaps between the fixed exchange rates and the flexible exchange rates in the market serve as an incentive for arbitrage and use of unlicensed channels for huge diaspora inflows. This gap should be bridged to discourage those profiting from it.

"The foreign currencies dealt in by a BDC is derived from private sources and such other sources which may include the CBN window as determined by the CBN from time to time for the purpose of funding Business Travel Allowance (BTA), Personal Travel Allowance (PTA), School Fees Payment Abroad, Medicals, mortgage and subscriptions," he pointed out.

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