BDCs attract $30bn to economy from foreign investors

By Benjamin Umuteme

The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has said it had attracted over $30 billion dollars to the economy from foreign investors.
ABCON President, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, who disclosed this at the unveiling of its “Live Engine Room,” yesterday in Lagos said the feat was achieved due to the provision of accurate market data and information about the foreign exchange (forex) market.

The new engine room is expected to promote price discovery and authentic information about foreign exchange rates in Nigeria.
“ABCON management takes Information Technology (IT) very seriously. The new live rate engine will provide exchange rates across the nation, making it unique.

“It will be an agenda setting platform providing daily economic news and market realty,” Gwadabe said.
He noted that the live engine room was one of the strategies adopted by ABCON to render the true position of the forex market to the CBN.

Gwadabe said the goal of ABCON, as a strategic partner with the CBN, was to make the Naira strong, reliable, and the only currency to be accepted for trading in the whole of West Africa.

He noted that BDCs in other climes have been in the vanguard of generating huge Diaspora remittances to their respective countries.

“In India, BDCs generated over 30 billion dollars from Diaspora remittances. BDCs in Nigeria have become the most potent instrument for exchange rate stability in the country,” Gwadabe said.
He commended the CBN and other regulatory authorities for ensuring that BDC operated within global best practices.

The ABCON boss urged the CBN to have a rethink on the multiplicity of exchange rates in the country, rate review for BDCs, VAT exemption and the reduction in Cash on Transaction (COT) charged BDCs.
He said the rate differential put BDCs in a very difficult situation as some of their members were already incurring very high operational costs.

“We want the CBN to approve the opening of BDCs’ Institute of Foreign Exchange transactions and approve BDCs as a trading platform.

“We appeal to the CBN to allow BDCs to use the National Identity Card for FX transactions instead of international passport and BVN,” Gwadabe said.