According to the President of Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) Aminu Gwadabe, the meeting themed: ‘Role of BDCs in Price Stability- Realities and Compliance’ will also be used to warn erring BDC directors on the consequence of violating operating guidelines.
“We want BDC Directors to know the gains of price stability, rate harmonisation and regulatory compliance. Operators with infractions will face penalties. We did it in 2006 when the BDC window was first opened. We helped the CBN to narrow the huge gap between official and parallel market rates. We are ready to do it again,” he said.
Gwadade said the BDCs helped the CBN to narrow the exchange rate gap from N520 to present rate, and will continue to achieve better results as the CBN continues to fund BDCs with increased dollar allocations.
“We are ready to partner with the CBN to ensure there is rate convergence. We want to make the market transparent, accountable and secure for the economy, investors and Nigerians in Diaspora so that more dollars will be attracted into the economy to strengthen the local currency,” he said.
Gwadabe said the BDC directors are the owners of the business, and should understand that the carry corporate governance burden, and will directly face sanctions when their operations run contrary to CBN’s guidelines.
“We want the BDC directors to fully take charge of their businesses, because they will be punished if anything goes wrong. We also want the public to know that BDCs are not criminals, but remain critical partner of the CBN in ensuring that price and exchange rate stability are achieved,” he said.
The ABCON boss said that BDCs’ capital was eroded anytime exchange rates go up, and naira is depreciated. “We suffer financial losses anytime the naira depreciates. We want a better and harmonised exchange rate,” he said.
He praised the CBN for giving each BDC $20,000 last week, adding that the funds will help to further strengthen the naira against the dollar.
“We expect that the $20,000 given to us will go a long way to douse the tension in the market even as we urge the CBN to continue to boost liquidity in the market,” he said.
He also appealed to the CBN to continue to take steps that would help bring more foreign investors to the economy, adding that government should invest more in infrastructure because investment follows infrastructure.
He stressed that ABCON has a zero tolerance for non-compliance with regulatory requirement and unethical conduct amongst its members.