The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has appealed to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to make Bureaux De Change (BDCs) payout agents for Diaspora remittances.
ABCON President Aminu Gwadabe, who disclosed this to financial journalists in Lagos at the weekend, said the apex bank should leverage on the over 5,000 licensed BDCs across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria to get the greenback seamlessly to beneficiaries.
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Gwadabe said the proposal would provide a more convenient channel for Nigerians in the Diaspora to remit funds back to the country to boost economic development.
According to the ABCON boss, the annual remittance inflow of close to $25 billion is critical to Nigeria’s currency management and stability and should be given seamless flow to the economy.
Such funds, he added, would support Nigeria’s balance of payment position, reduce dependence on external borrowing and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on foreign exchange inflows into the country.
He said BDCs remain the largest foreign currency operators in Nigeria, hence making them payout agents for Diaspora remittances will protect the market from forex cartels that refuse to follow rules set by the apex bank.
According to Gwadabe, the need to bring BDCs into the Diaspora remittances collection business has become exigent following reports of abuse by Mobile Money Operators (MMOs) opposed to paying remittances beneficiaries in dollars as mandated by the CBN.
On November 30, CBN stated that beneficiaries of Diaspora Remittances through International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) shall henceforth receive such inflows in foreign currency (US dollars) through the designated banks of their choice.
Gwadabe applauded the CBN’s directive, saying it would put an end to malpractices perpetually making the dollar scarce and keeping the local currency at the mercy of the greenback.