The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) says it is committed to deepening professionalism among its members to gain investors’ confidence.
ABCON President, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said at the South-West zonal meeting of the association on Thursday in Lagos that the body believed that professionalism engendered foreign investors’ confidence in the Nigerian foreign exchange market.
Gwadabe called on Bureaux De Change (BDCs) operators to distinguish themselves from parallel market operators by rendering efficient services and complying with regulations.
He said that while the pressure on the naira was due to liquidity problems and confidence, professionalism on the part of BDCs would help boost foreign investors’ confidence in the nation’s foreign exchange market.
“ABCON is committed to boosting foreign investors’ confidence as this will help attract the much needed liquidity into the market and reduce pressure on the naira exchange rate.
“You have to distinguish yourselves from parallel market.
“We are the ones licensed to operate the business, but we must prove this by distinguishing ourselves through the way we serve our customers.
“Before now, there were criticisms about BDCs but now we are the new bride of the regulators,’’ Gwadabe said.
The president also urged members of the association to comply with the necessary requirements in their businesses, to ensure that they sustain the renewed regulatory interest and confidence in BDCs.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria is willing to expand our scope of business, but this is conditioned on our willingness to increase our level of professionalism.’’
Gwadabe advised BDCs not to limit their services to foreign exchange needs for Personal Travel Allowance (PTA).
“Why is everybody just doing PTA, when you can do mortgage, school fees and medical expenses?
“You can do mortgage, medical and school fees on cash basis, provided you don’t exceed $5,000, and you ensure all the necessary documentations are provided.’’
Gwadabe assured members that the association had started addressing the challenges experienced by BDCs in verifying Biometric Verification Numbers (BVNs) and the international passports of prospective customers.
He added that ABCON had started discussions with the management of Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), on the need to provide dedicated channel for BDCs to verify BVNs and international passports.
He, however, advised BDCs to be patient and continue to use the available channel to verify BVNs and the international passports of customers.
He also advised BDCs to deal with people they were familiar with to ensure compliance with the Know Your Customer (KYC) requirement of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Gwadabe also said that the association had set up a surveillance committee to monitor the activities in the BDC sector.
He called on members of the association to help facilitate the work of the committee by providing it with information on any observed malpractice, by any operator.