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Forex: Licensed BDC Operators Applaud Security Raids On Street Traders - LEADERSHIP

FEBRUARY 22, 2024

Written by Mark Itsibor

President of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Mr. Aminu Gwadabe, has commended security agencies for raiding some traders of foreign currencies whom he described as unlicensed street traders of forex, causing embarrassment to the licensed operators.

He said it was rather unfortunate that many people do not know how to differentiate the licenced from the unlicensed street hawkers of foreign currencies, a situation he said has led to stigmatisation and criminalisation of the sector due to a lack of understanding even by the security agencies.

He said there are criteria for anyone to operate as a BDC operator, including the fact that you must have an office, render returns, and comply with extant regulations.

“What is happening is not targeted at licensed Bureau De Change but the operators of FX street trading. We are against any street trading and support any action that will remove street trading. It affects me also. I have an office but my clients cannot come to my office because of the menace of street traders.

“I want to congratulate the government, the CBN if it can be sanitised. We support any sanitisation that can remove street trading. We all see it, there is no place on earth that you can go and see rampant street trading of FX, so we’re in support of it,” Gwadabe said during a chat with journalists on a conference call.

He said the association was putting reforms in place to ensure the credibility of members while urging the Central Bank of Nigeria to support the move.

“We are revolutionising the entire retail exchange market. We support any action that will discourage the menace. So many things affect us licensed Bureau De Change Operators. We welcome the idea,” he reiterated.

However, he said there has to be continuous engagement on what should be in place for an effective system. He said the association had introduced various reform recommendations to the apex bank, including how to deploy technology, innovation, and automation of the entire retail end sector in order to leave a sustainable legacy.

He urged all licensed Bureau De Change Operators to be cautious, and careful and operate within the offices they are licensed by CBN, adding that as a licensed Bureau De Change you must operate within the ambit of the regulation most especially in your office and not on the street.

He said the volatility in the forex market was worrisome, a situation he said was caused by the factors of demand and supply and liquidity paucity across board. He said the management of the CBN and security agencies were looking for ways to control the menace caused by the volatility.

However, he said there were a lot of engagements with the CBN stakeholders, especially with the Bureau De Change Association of all the BDC operators of Nigeria.

The ABCON president appreciated the management of the CBN for the past two and a half years, saying this was the “first time we have seen engagement and a listening CBN. We have seen how to collaborate to ensure that we get a solution on how we can solve the problem because it is a national crisis, that’s where we are now.”


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