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ABCON seeks SEC’s guidance, collaboration in harmonising digital currency - THE NATION

MAY 19, 2024

The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has called for Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC’s) guidance and collaboration in harmonising peer-to-peer (P2P) forex sector in the country.

In an official courtesy visit to the newly appointed SEC Director-General, Dr. Timi Agama, the President of Association of Bureau de Change Operators of Nigeria, ABCON, Aminu Gwadabe congratulated the SEC D-G on his appointment by Mr President his excellency Bola Ahmed Tinubu and quickly highlighted that SEC regulates the sector that is a threat to the continued existence of BDCs in Nigeria through online virtual transactions platforms which gives access to millions of Nigerians to trade in foreign exchange without trace and accountability.

He also explained that ABCON has invested in requisite technology to ensure the continued existence of the business and preserve the integrity of the sub-sector. He opined that the future of BDC’s business is digital currency. The National President of ABCON said that the meeting with the SEC DG and the present executive board of the SEC was a follow up on the earlier online virtual consultation.

Gwadabe said: “ABCON is the umbrella body for all licensed retail foreign exchange dealers, which came into existence in 1991. Our objective is to liaise with our regulators, relevant stakeholders and security agencies as one cannot divorce the retail exchange market from the ecosystem of foreign exchange market seeing that BDC market is global and have been in operation before our independence. It has been there before the creation of the central bank of Nigeria”.

Gwadabe explained that the system came under regulation in 1986 during the administration of former President Ibrahim Babangida, who felt the need to formalise the sector through the issuance of license by the then ministry of finance with the objective to formalising the informal sector.

Gwadabe said that as at today there is over 34 million Nigerians dealing in digital currency and the number is rising by about 9% with a huge market of $9billion annually and there are thousands of multichannel virtual currency fx platforms and none is indigenous to Nigeria. P2P represents individual to individual transaction. · He emphasised that innovation can only be guaranteed on trust.

Dr Timi Agama the SEC DG responded with a robust understanding of the ABCON chairman’s speech

He said: “I understand that ABCON is desirous of setting up a digital market platform with the intention to be part of the emerging digital currency ecosystem in Nigeria. We at the SEC are open to help the sector grow for the love of the country therefore there will be meetings with the relevant departments of the SEC to detail methods and strategies that will strengthen the Naira through necessary innovative ideas as shared by ABCON.”

“The SEC DG also reiterate that there are new rules put in place to accommodate local intellectuals to develop digital platforms therefore the SEC will cooperate with ABCON in order to achieve the desired objectives.

Dr Timi who is highly knowledgeable about the virtual currency market and the market makers directed that proposed ABCON presentation and the development of ABCON digital market model named Koletyomoni to be finalised as quickly as possible as there are other interests working underground and should be forwarded to SEC technical team for study and timely review. Dr Timi did not forget to emphasise on the powers of the government through the SEC and that the agency will not hesitate to use its powers where necessary to keep sanity in the issuance, marketting and trading of securities in Nigerias capital market”.

ABCON’s technical partner Mr Oluwasegun Kosemani thanked the DG Dr Timi and his intelligently experienced SEC team which had oMr Wale Ajomale for their warm reception and listening to ABCON while making it known to SEC that much resources have been allocated to the research and development of the platform and that we are working on collaborating with every emerging verifiable blocks of the blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem in Nigeria like BICCoN, CDIN, SIBAN, DCC, Bitcoin organisations, local peer to peer exchanges and merchants etc.

He continued by saying ABCONs wealth of experience, operations, KYC, Compliance AML all combined in developing the platform which the main objective is to harmonise data, ensure all digital FX merchants whether USDT, crypto-bitcoin come under a very viable and visible platform that would discourage foul play and certainly government would receive substantial revenue from the transparent legitimate transactions the platform will be facilitating by way of convenience of use tax paid by the operators and clients.


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