The President of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Aminu Gwadebe, has accused Binance and other unlicensed online platforms of diverting diaspora remittances.
Gwadebe said companies like Binance are being used to divert diaspora remittances and operate without regulation and their activities can’t be tracked.
According to Gwadebe, transfers are not made through an agent. He complained that the online platforms target Nigerians and offer rates that are higher than black market rates.
He affirmed that diaspora remittances are diverted, “to some other channels that operate under different jurisdictions all over and lack standardized regulations.
“Can you tell me about Binance that is not in Nigeria, Nigerians are not doing transactions of Binance. These are borderless platforms, they don’t have borders, they don’t have offices, you don’t even know where they are, are they operating in Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria or Ghana.
“They just don’t transfer money through an agent, there are a lot of online platforms that is being advertised in all these places where we have Nigerians and they are highly speculative, sometimes their rates is even higher than what is obtainable in the parallel market,” he said in a report by Nairametrics on Tuesday.
Gwadebe stated that even the banks are unable to ascertain where the diaspora remittances are going because there are several unlicensed online platforms in the process of foreign remittances
“We had a meeting with the banks where we even tried to bring up the issue of diaspora remittances so that we can harness it and bring liquidity, but they said they don’t see it. That’s the truth of the matter, a lot of unlicensed online firms are in the process.
‘’It’s not in the official market, it’s not even in Nigeria, it’s not even coming, that is the truth of the matter, It’s being left abroad to be financing the 41 banned items and other illegal speculation holding activities. People are sending money but the thing is that it is not coming through a regulated and official channel.”
However, he also admitted that some members of the Bureau De Change are also receiving diaspora remittances but not reporting them to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“There are different categorizations of BDCs. Yes, I know that there are some BDCs that receive diaspora remittances and are not reporting officially. Today we had a sensitization and I think that is what the CBN is trying to do. Any Bureau De Change that is doing transactions and refused to send the returns of its activities is going to be summarily dealt with.
“The CBN has changed the format on how you will send your returns, adding some other features to those returns we had been sending before. They have realized that some licensed BDCs are operating yet they will say they are not operating hiding the fact that there are no interventions by the CBN, they are saying no transactions and sending nil returns to Central Bank.
“Central bank has discovered that and they have done sensitization exercise where they have introduced other information that will be needed from every BDC,” Gwadebe said.
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