The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has charged operators of bureaux de change to curb money laundering and terrorism by operating in accordance with the rules of the business.
Mr Kayode Asanmo, the CBN Deputy Director, Banking Supervision, disclosed this during a sensitization programme in the South –South and South-East zones, in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
The programme, with the theme “Sensitization Visit of the Financial Action Task Force Teams on Mutual Evaluations”, was organized by the Association of Bureaux de Change of Nigeria (ABCON).
Asanmo, who represented Dr Aminu Gwadabe, the President of ABCON at the occasion, said that the programme had taken place in the North-East, North-West, North-Central, Kano and Lagos states.
“This sensitization programme is to prepare operators ready for the mutual evaluation team that would be coming to Nigeria anytime from now.
“We want to make sure that the operators are in compliance with the rules of the bureaux de change business to make sure we are not in the high risk of money laundering and terrorism when the evaluation is done.
“If we are successful during the evaluation, this has implication for our economy; it has implication for foreign investment inflow while it is also positive on our correspondent banking relationship.
“We urge the operators in this business to know their customers, conduct due diligence, know their names, their businesses, sources of their money and the businesses they want to use the money they are changing to do”, he said.
Asanmo advised the operators to do legitimate business with legitimate customers, keep good records and maintain internal control system.
Similarly, Mr Okeke Nchekwube, one of the ABCON Trustees from South East, said that the programme would help government to curb money laundering and terrorism, if sustained.
Nchekwube called on government to stop roadside operators without registration and necessary licence from doing bureau de change business.
Mr Mohammed Ogboanor, the Chairman South-South zone of ABCON, commended the Federal Government, the CBN, EFCC and other agencies for their collaboration to see that money laundering and terrorism were curbed in Nigeria.
Also, Mr Randle Adewole, the Branch Comptroller of CBN in Port Harcourt, said that the programme would help to remind the operators against breaching the rules of bureau de change on money laundering and also help in growing the economy.
Amaka E. Nliam