Business Hilights
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Open more forex access centres, avoid evening payments to us, ABCON tells CBN

Leadership of the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), the union of licensed bureau de change operators in the country has called for more three payment centres in Port-Harcourt, Ibadan, and Benin by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

They also frowned at delayed payments beyond 3pm, which they saw as risky venture considering the implications of carrying hard currency at odd hours.

Explaining their challenges during a Lagos emergency meeting, the President averred that very soon, members will begin to boycott any further foreign exchange disbursement to them that did not commence on or before 3pm.

The group, after the meeting, said members are always risking distant journeys for collection of foreign exchange.

Business Hilights recalls that ABCON is made up of over 3,500 members operating in the country and they have agreed to push further until the regulator responds to its calls for review of the rate (N360 per dollar), which it sells to them.

National Treasurer of ABCON, Gbadamosi Moh-Murtala, who represented the National President, Aminu Gwadabe at the meeting, explained that the group is also seeking the extension on the deadline for its members’ licence renewal.

ABCOn also called for the review of the N360 for which the CBN sells dollar to them, saying the amount cannot meet their operational costs with the N2 margin.

“We want the CBN to review the BDC rate to ensure that currency speculators do not return to the market.

“Many forex users prefer to buy at the parallel market instead of the BDCs since there are no longer rate gaps, and where there is no requirement for documentations. That is why we are calling on the CBN to review the rate band for the BDCs.

“For instance, the rates at which CBN sells to the commercial banks is N358 per dollar, and we are given at N360 to a dollar. And we (banks and BDCs) are meant to sell the same products (PTAs, BTAs and schools fees) to members of the public.

“In view of that, our members are operating at a loss. That is why we are calling on the management of the CBN to consider our plight.

“A lot of our members are withdrawing from participating in the market and the implication of that is that there would be little supply of forex to the market, which can destabilise the market.”

The CBN is yet to respond to ABCON prayers.