The Central Bank of Nigeria has continued to fund bureaux de change (BDCs) segment of the foreign exchange market in a new move to save the naira.
President, Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Aminu Gwadabe, said dollar sales to BDCs still at N393 to dollar.
He said the CBN is committed to improving funding for over 5,000 BDCs nationwide in new move to deepen market liquidity and protect the naira against speculators.
The ABCON boss linked the continued fall of the naira at the parallel market and Investors’ and Exporters’ (I&E) Forex window to currency speculators hoarding dollars to profit from the currency crisis.
He said the perpetrators are creating artificial scarcity of the greenback within market to cause more woes for the local currency.
The naira was on Friday May 22, exchanging at N485/$1 at the parallel market and N411.25/ $1 at the I&E Forex window.
Gwadabe said the ABCON Management and the CBN-licensed BDCs will fight alongside the regulator to ensure that speculators lose their capital should they persist in the illegal activity.
“The ABCON and CBN have observed with disdain the speculative behaviour currently beclouding the market with the misinformation that the CBN has adopted I&E window as its official rate. The above information is not true because as operators we still funded our accounts at our normal rates of N393/$ and not the I&E window rates for our operation this Friday,” he said.
The ABCON management therefore advised its members not to join on that behaviour as CBN remained resolute with its partnership with the group and is looking at various options to induce liquidity in the sector.
He advised BDCs not to join the rumour mongers creating confusion and fragility in the market.
“ABCON Will continue to keep you posted and guide you accordingly. We urge all members to continue to give the CBN the utmost support as a strategic partner and in the interest of the economy,” he said.
He said that CBN-licenced BDCs are fighting back by supporting the apex bank in tackling forex spectators and reiterating commitment to operate within set rules.
Gwadabe said the “Naira for Dollar Policy” being implemented by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele would further lift market liquidity and improve naira status.
The policy, he added will provide Nigerians in the Diaspora with cheaper and more convenient ways of sending remittances to Nigeria and increase dollar inflows into the economy.
Reiterating the provision a new circular on remittances, the Emefiele said the bank introduced the rebate of N5 for every $1 of fund remitted to Nigeria, through International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) licensed by the Central Bank in order to incentivize the process of remittance.
He emphasized that the new measure would help to make the process of sending remittance through formal bank channels cheaper and more convenient for Nigerians in the diaspora.
Gwadabe said BDCs will continue to defend the naira through compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), supporting CBN’s exchange rate stability policies.
He said every BDC operator needs full 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 goAML -Anti-Money Laundering portal and proper documentation of all forex sales.
He said all BDCs should file their reports as and at when due on weekly basis to Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, and CBN and also Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as well as Know Your Customer (KYC) and due diligence reports.
Gwadabe disclosed that BDC operators can be spot-checked by the CBN examiners at anytime and should therefore put in necessary 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 that by following set rules, the operators will set a good example in their operational modalities and make forex buyers lose confidence in black market dealers.