• Saturday, May 25, 2024
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BDCs seek digital autonomy for rate convergence, tech reforms

The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to grant Bureaux De Change (BDCs) digital autonomy to achieve exchange rate convergence.

Aminu Gwadabe, ABCON president, who made the call in a report released on Sunday, urged the apex bank to grant a no-objection approval for the BDCs to go digital on all their operational correspondences entirely.

He said the move would bring about rate convergence, curb volatility in the market and promote economic growth.

He said ABCON had in the past led its members to achieve rate convergence in 2006, 2009, 2018 to 2020 before the outbreak of Covid-19 in 2020.

He said granting digital autonomy to the operators will lead to a true market rate discovery, enhance the achievement of the Federal Government’s harmonized foreign exchange rate policies and promote effective monitoring of BDC transactions for statutory and regulatory requirements.

He said aside from employing over 40,000 employees within the sector, digital autonomy for operators will usher in transparency, accountability and ease of supervision.

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“As a proactive organization and an umbrella body of central bank licensed BDCs and In Line with the CBN planned reforms on BDCs for tech compliance, ABCON started various digitization reforms since 2016 for licensed operators,” he said.

According to ABCON, now is the time for the CBN to democratize and centralize digital operational mechanisms for all BDCs by granting all operators the autonomy to go digital.

Gwadabe advised the CBN to diversify BDCs’ scope of operation and Business model from cash-based to digital payment.

He said the naijabdcs.com platform inaugurated by ABCON in 2018 was a step by the group to digitize operations of BDCs in the country.

“ABCON has invested several millions of naira in IT research, developments, designs, and implementations of various layers of automation on business transformation from manual to digital. Our members now have transaction monitoring systems with installed IT office equipment and internet connections,” he said.

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“Our members now record their transactions on Amazon Web Service (AWS) online in real-time and extract their daily reports for return rendition. Operators have also integrated with NIBSS, Bank Verification Number verification and validation platforms,” he said.

The BDCs, through the collaborations of ABCON and NFIU, registered on the GoAML platforms and Nil-returns platform for the rendition of their suspicious and cash transactions threshold to the NFIU in compliance with their AML/CFT obligations.

The BDCs have also complied with the appointment of a Compliance Officer as directed by the CBN, with members constantly trained and retrained on regulatory compliance.