Travel Money and Currency Exchange Services (Travelex) is undertaking a partnership process with the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON). The strategic partnership will enable the nation’s Bureau de Change (BDC) operators to access more than $20 billion yearly Diaspora remittances into the country.
This was disclosed by ABCON President, Dr. Aminu Gwadabe, during a sensitisation programme which was put together by Travelex for BDC operators.
According to Gwadabe, Travelex and ABCON are reviewing the possibility of ABCON riding on the high-tech platform to become direct agents of International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs).
What you should know about remittances
Remittances are funds transferred from migrants to their home country. They are the private savings of workers and families that are spent in the home country for food, clothing and other expenditures, and which drive the home economy.
For many developing nations, remittances from citizens working abroad provide an import source of much-needed funds.
How Nigeria can benefit from the deal
According to the World Bank, Nigeria tops remittances to sub-Saharan Africa with $22 billion. Going by this figure, without doubt, Nigeria’s Diaspora remittances for 2017 can fund the country’s budget and pay part of Nigeria’s foreign debt for 20 years.
Diaspora remittances can help shape Nigeria’s debt. More Diaspora bonds where remittances could be used to fund capital projects can be initiated.
How BDCs will function under the deal
Since BDCs are licensed institutions permitted that afford individuals the opportunity to carry out small scale foreign exchange business on a stand-alone basis, they are charged with the responsibility to buy foreign banknotes, coins and travelers’ cheques (TCs) from members of the public, authorised dealers and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The BDCs are expected to sell foreign bank notes, TCs and coins up to $5,000 or its equivalent in other foreign currency (or as specified by the CBN) per transaction to members of the public.