The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has urged the Federal Government to use everything within its powers to stop operation of Binance in the country.
President of ABCON, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, gave the advice in an interview in Lagos.
Binance is an online exchange where users can trade cryptocurrencies. It supports hundreds of the most commonly traded cryptocurrencies.
According to Gwadabe, Binance is one of the many factors putting pressure on the naira.
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Nigeria had in June, issued a statement, emphasising that Binance Nigeria was not registered or regulated by SEC, making its operations in Nigeria illegal.
“If you know about Binance, you will know that Binance trading is becoming the anchorage of both the investors and exporters window and the parallel market, which is unfortunate.
“So, we have to do something that can stop Binance. It’s a competition; we need to ban Binance and the only way to do so is if you have liquidity.
“As I speak, Binance is the most liquid market; they do 1.2 million transactions per second. So it’s a very liquid market but that is not a scary status, we can break it through our local content and peculiarities”.
The ABCON president noted that optimism was giving way to pessimism in the present foreign exchange market situation.
Gwadabe said that when pessimism overrode the psychology of the market, it would lead to loss of confidence by citizens, saying that was key in every currency of every nation.
“So we are seeing a scenario where optimism is giving way to pessimism; investors are not coming, Nigerians don’t have confidence in the market and we have to look for external finances that are coming in as a quick fix.
“There is a lot of pressure on the naira, from foreign exchange hoarding by the banks and oil companies.
“Is it Nigerians that want to pay school fees, round tripping, speculations, among others. All these galvanised to put pressure on the naira.
“Spike and volatility did not start now, it’s something the present government inherited and has gone a long way in checkmating illegal behaviours around foreign exchange market and that is the objective of the unification,” Gwadabe said.
The ABCON boss expressed hope that with petrol subsidy removal, the Central Bank of Nigeria would be able to see remittances from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) saying when subsidy began, the remittance to CBN from NNPC was zero.
This, he said, would also allow the apex bank to have liquidity and inflows that would come in for them to be able to defend the naira.
He said If Nigeria has a friendly, competitive and transparent system, more investors would want to come to the market.
”So, for us to succeed, there must be liquidity. Countries that adopt floating exchange are countries that have heavy reserve and balance of payment to fallback on,” he said.
The ABCON president urged the National Assembly to come up with legislation that would protect investors in the market.
“So, we need legislation now that the market is in tiers so that everybody will follow the law, know his obligation and be protected under the law. Once you meet up with your obligation, you are good to go,” he said.
On revocation of licences of 2,698 BDCs by CBN, Gwadabe discredited the report saying, “as far as I’m concerned that list was not correct and still not confirmed.
“The CBN has yet to come out with their comprehensive list. Yes, CBN is reviewing the BDC register with a view to reducing the number but as of now, there is no official list that proscribes or says these are the licensed or unlicensed. So the status quo remains the same,” he said.”
The ABCON president said the association had engaged with CBN and had been advised to sensitise its members to know the conditions guiding their operations and their obligations which was to render returns to CBN.
“We have a different department in CBN that supervises us that we need to be updating our records with them in terms of returns, change of address, change of directors and other issues involving technicality to render returns.
“So, these are the things that we have appealed to CBN and because of our low business and no activity, a lot of our members have closed shop but that is not an excuse.
“Nevertheless, the CBN has listened to our difficulty and has given us some months to go and work on these and improve on our returns,’’ he said.
The CBN had in July, reduced the number of BDC dealers from 5,689 previously approved in 2022 to 2,991.
The document titled ‘Approved BDCs’, revealed that the licences of 2,698 BDCs had been revoked.