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BDCs blame peer-to-peer Binance-like platforms for naira dip



Naira notes

The president of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria, BDCs, Aminu Gwadabe, says BDC operators are committed to preventing speculators from attacking the naira.

Mr. Gwadabe said this in an interview on Wednesday in Abuja.

The Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria, as a self-regulatory body, has platforms to check the excesses of BDC operators, he noted.

“We have inaugurated state chapters whereby we can have a database of participants in the forex market. This is for the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) to understand this market and to know the participants; give them a simple registration,” he said.

Mr. Gwadabe said that the foreign exchange market needed a kind of harmonisation, centralization, and KYC to identify all business participants.

“This will enable the CBN to track other players in the market other than the BDCs and their levels of involvement. The BDCs is collaborating with the regulatory authorities for physical verification of offices using technology.

“We want to balance international obligations with our own objectives. International obligations are templates that have been built without our input. We are coming up with our own template to balance it. We have seen some illegal economic behaviour, and the CBN and the security agencies are aware, and I am sure they will nip it in the bud,’’ he added.

He said the recent wave of naira depreciation was of concern to the BDC operators.

Mr. Gwadabe explained, “I am happy that the authorities, and even the BDCs as operators, have identified the peer-to-peer (P2P) platform. P2P is a platform like Binance where speculators use the dollar to buy USDT, a stablecoin that is pegged at one to the dollar.

“As long as Binance and such other platforms continue to be profitable, the naira will continue to depreciate. There are many of them in the system. Binance has been nipped in the bud, but there are still many. They are online platforms with no registration or restrictions.”

Mr. Gwadabe said that the CBN and the security agencies were already aware of the antics of the platforms. According to him, they are more of an illegal form of economic behaviour, and the people behind them lack patriotism.

“People have turned the dollar into an asset—a commodity of trade—which is why those platforms continue to thrive. We have seen where people are buying dollars into their domiciliary accounts to finance these schemes. A lot of millions of dollars are going out of the system. It is one USD to one USDT. The market can be liquid.

“Binance alone has four billion dollars of liquidity and more than two million transactions. Most of them source money to finance their transactions on the open market, and that is one of the reasons why the naira is depreciating,’’ he said.