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BDCs link forex speculators to naira crash to N485/$1

The continued fall of the naira at the parallel market and Investors’ and Exporters’ (I&E) Forex window has been linked to currency speculators hoarding dollars to profit from the currency crisis.

The naira was yesterday exchanging at N485/$1 at the parallel market and N415/ $1 at the I&E Forex window, dashing expectations that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s implementation of the new ‘Naira for Dollar Scheme” will strengthen the local currency.

President, Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Aminu Gwadabe, confirmed the development.

He said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)-licenced Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators will not stand by and watch the currency business derailed by currency speculators and black market dealers who are not answerable to any authority.

He said the BDCs will support the apex bank in tackling forex spectators to bring about exchange rate stability.

The CBN had promised that the new policy would provide Nigerians in the Diaspora with cheaper and more convenient ways of sending remittances to Nigeria.

The policy, which gives N5 rebate for every $1 sent by Nigerians in diaspora to the country, will be paid directly to the account of the beneficiaries, following receipt of the remittance inflows.

Market dealers also attributed the naira depreciation at the parallel market to speculators causing artificial scarcity of the dollar within the market.

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Other market dealers attributed the naira’s continued decline to heightened forex supply shortage, demand pressure and rationing.

Gwadabe said BDCs will continue to defend the naira through compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT), supporting CBN’s exchange rate stability policies.

He said every BDC operator needs full knowledge and understanding of how to raise and submit both the Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) to regulators, understand the obligation of registering and filling reports on the NFIU goAML -Anti-Money Laundering portal and proper documentation of all forex sales.

He said all BDCs should file their  reports as and when due on weekly basis to Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, and CBN and also the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, as well as Know Your Customer (KYC) and due diligence reports.

Gwadabe disclosed that BDC operators can be spot-checked by the CBN examiners at any time and should therefore put in necessary measures to align with the regulatory policies.

“Be vigilant in your operations because you can be spot-checked by the CBN examiners at any time. All BDCs should appoint Compliance Officers and Data Protection Officers as directed by the CBN which is also in-line with the global best practices. Also, avoid sending your returns late, selling dollars above CBN approved rate,” he advised.

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Gwadabe said that by following set rules, the operators will set a good example in their operational modalities and make forex buyers lose confidence in black market dealers.

But defending the dollar policy, CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the ‘Naira for Dollar Scheme” was meant to increase the transparency of remittance inflows and reduce rent-seeking activities.

He also said the bank introduced the rebate of N5 for every $1 of fund remitted to Nigeria, through International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) licensed by the Central Bank in order to incentivize the process of remittance.

He emphasised that the new measure would help to make the process of sending remittance through formal bank channels cheaper and more convenient for Nigerians in the diaspora.


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