Directors of over 3,000 Bureaux De Change (BDCs) will be meeting today in Lagos, to take strategic decisions on ways to force down dollar rates and narrow the gaps between official and parallel market rates.
The emergency meeting became exigent following last week’s sudden depreciation of the naira against dollar, which the operators said is against the interest of their operations and economy.
The naira closed last Friday at N395 to dollar in the parallel market, after stabilizing at N380 to dollar the previous week.
President, Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) Aminu Gwadabe, said the meeting with theme: Role of BDCs in Price Stability- Realities and Compliance will be used to warn erring BDC directors on the consequence of violating operating guidelines.
He said the BDCs will continue to support Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN’s) exchange rate stability objective and also ensure that official and parallel market rate convergence is achieved.
“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.