The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria has said the BDCs should be one of the channels for receiving Diaspora remittances into the economy.
The association said in a statement that Diaspora remittances to Nigeria were estimated at $25bn annually for 2018 and remained a reliable source of foreign exchange for the domestic economy.
The President, ABCON, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said the Central Bank of Nigeria’s forex policy brought stability to the BDC industry and helped operators to embrace automation, which was the standard best practice globally.
He said adding the BDCs to one of the channels through which the Diaspora remittance funds could come into the country would be a good way to reduce the reliance of rate differentials to sustain operators’ businesses.
Gwadabe said, “The BDCs remain at the centre of economic development and have the capacity to attract the needed capital for the development of the Nigerian economy.
“Findings have also shown that forex remittances from Nigerians in the Diaspora far exceeded the country’s earnings from crude oil export last year.”
He noted that since many transactions were unrecorded or took place through informal channels, the actual amount of remittance flows into the country was likely higher.
According to him, Diaspora remittances remain a cheap source of funds because the money is not to be paid back with interest but goes directly into the construction of houses, payment of school fees, medicals and a lot of things that are adding value to the weak economy.
He said, “Nigerian BDC operators have also identified the immense opportunities presented by Diaspora remittances and want to play a greater role in attracting more foreign capital into the economy.
“This is because remittances are known to help poorer recipients meet basic needs, fund cash and non-cash investments, finance education, foster new businesses, service debt and essentially drive economic growth.”
Gwadabe stated that Nigerian BDCs, like their counterparts in other emerging or developing economies, had what it took to deepen the forex market through remittances and collections.