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ABCON, NFIU train BDCs on anti-money laundering reporting

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The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) and Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) have concluded a four-day joint nation-wide training/sensitization programme on Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) reporting for Bureaux de Change (BDC) operators.

The training, which has been ongoing since December 11, 2018, focused on the obligation of registering and filling reports on the NFIU goAML -Anti-Money Laundering portal. A session was held on  January 5, 2019, in Kano and another session held on January 22, 2019, in Abuja among others.

As part of the NFIU/ABCON partnership, ABCON has taken the train-the-trainers training of the NFIU to the six geopolitical zones of the country in order to strengthen capacity for over 4,000 BDC operators nationwide.

Speaking at the end of the training, ABCON President, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said the anti-money laundering training is intended to familiarize BDC operators with the process of money laundering — the criminal business used to disguise the true origin and ownership of illegal cash — and the laws that make it a crime.

He said that money laundering and terrorist financing pose not only a threat, but are enormous threats and challenges to the economy, security, and social life in Nigeria, the region and globally.

In a statement by NFIU commending ABCON for the training, Ibrahim Pindar, said: “We wish to congratulate the ABCON on the attendance recorded on the concluded training of BDC operators on the key Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) obligation of registering and filling reports on the goAML -Anti-Money Laundering portal”.

The NFIU advised ABCON to train BDCs regularly so as to cover AML/CFT knowledge-gap identified from most operators and also ensure that their members register on the goAML portal.

NFIU recommended that: “Those trained by the NFIU team should be engaged by ABCON to train their members on a continuous basis. Any change of Compliance Officer should promptly be reported to the NFIU. ABCON should ensure that the operators have alternates for their compliance officers for succession planning and continuity.”

Gwadabe said that the training was also meant to help BDCs maintain a minimum standard of record keeping and increasing level of investors confidence for the economy.

The ABCON and NFIU  also advised BDCs to engage services of  Designated Compliance Officers to handle all their compliance-related issues.

Gwadabe said the policy on the recruitment of the Designated Compliance Officers by BDCs is already being implemented by ABCON and remains part of the association’s vision to revolutionalise BDC operations in Nigeria for global competitiveness and transparency.

The training, Gwadabe added, will create awareness on the need to check money laundering and terrorist financing in this period of electioneering; ensure that BDCs are not used to launder funds by Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs). It will also upscale BDCs’ compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) for Banks and Other Financial Institutions in Nigeria Regulations, 2013.

He said the training will enable BDCs to understand how to raise the Suspicious Transaction Reports (STRs) and Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) to know when to submit such reports. He said these reports are raised by operators on suspicious activities of individuals and are submitted to Financial Intelligence Unit.

He said the training was also meant to increase BDCs participation and awareness on the reporting portal of NFIU which is www.goaml.nfiu.gov.ng. It is also expected to address the low level of skills in the BDCs sub-sector to prepare them for global competition and partnerships.

The ABCON boss said the training is also backed by the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and Central Bank of Nigeria (Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism for Banks and Other Financial Institutions in Nigeria) Regulations, 2013.

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FMDQ Exchange records 6.75% MoM decrease in secondary market turnover

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By Sodiq Adelakun

In October, FMDQ Exchange reported a total secondary market turnover of N21.70 trillion, a decrease of 6.75 percent (N1.57 trillion) from the previous month and an increase of 60.27 percent (N8.16 trillion) from the same period last year.

The Spot and Derivatives Market contributed N20.48 trillion and N1.22 trillion respectively to the total turnover.

 The Spot FX Market turnover was $4.66 billion (N3.66 trillion), a decrease of 14.96 percent ($0.82 billion) from September 2023.

Further, the US Dollar appreciated against the Naira in the FX market, with the exchange rate ($/N) increasing by 5.34percent ($/N40.41) to close at an average of $/N797.43 in October 2023 from $/N757.02 recorded in September 2023, trading within a range of $/N741.85 – $/N993.82.

Similarly, in the Derivatives Market, total turnover in the FX Market segment was $1.55billion (N1.22trillion), representing a MoM decrease of 39.27percent ($1billion) from September 2023 figures.

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Naira’s floating exchange rate brings uncertainty for investment banking in Nigeria — Ex-AIHN president

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The former President of the Association of Issuing Houses of Nigeria, Ike Chioke, has stated that the currency reforms implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria have brought about both challenges and opportunities for the investment banking industry.

Chioke made this statement at the Investment Banking Awards Night held in Lagos.

He further mentioned that the floating exchange rate of the naira and the elimination of fuel subsidies have had a significant impact on various sectors of the economy.

“Nigeria is bracing up to the impacts of the new government and they are already making changes to what I will call non-unorthodox policies. These policies had also introduced pain and hardship with the free-floating of the naira and removal of fuel subsidy forcing their weaknesses on various sectors of the economy,” he said.

Chioke added that despite the hiccups in the implementation of these reforms, they have thrown up major opportunities for investment banking.

He urged members to apply their best skills and expertise to make the best of the opportunities.

“As you know, the investment banking industry is a critical one for the Nigerian economy and we represent the best brains and the best expertise in that space,” he said.

Meanwhile, in the Debt Capital Market Category of the award, Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Limited won the Private Company Bond House 2022 Award; Best Commercial Paper House 2022 Award, and Best Bond House 2022 Award while the Best Commercial Paper House 2022 Award went to StanbicIBTC Capital Limited.

In the Equity Capital Markets Category, the Equity Deal of 2022 Award was won by three companies- namely Stanbic IBTC Capital Limited, UCML Capital, and Rand Merchant Bank.

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SMEs contribute 46.31% to Nigeria’s GDP — SMEDAN CEO

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The Director General/CEO of SMEDAN, Charles Odili, has highlighted the significant contributions of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to the Nigerian economy.

According to Odili, SMEs make up 46.31 percent of the national GDP and contribute 6.21 percent to exports. These findings were revealed in the recent nMaSMEs survey, which estimated that there are approximately 39.6 million nMSMEs in Nigeria, employing 62.5 million individuals.

This accounts for a substantial 80.2 percent of the country’s labor force. In another development, 50 rural enterprises in Gombe State are participating in a three-day training program organized by SMEDAN and the Gombe State government.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the training, in Gombe on Wednesday, the Director General and Chief Executive of SMEDAN, Charles Odili said that the programme was designed to provide an end-to-end business development service to the rural entrepreneurs.

Charlie Odili, who was represented by the Ag. Director of Partnership and Coordination, Prof Adeyinka Fusha, also said that the training was targeted at business owners who were at the bottom of the pyramids as a supportive mechanism to enhance rural entrepreneurship, competitiveness, job creation and financial inclusion.

According to him, “As you may be aware, the Nano, Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (nMaSMEs) sub-sector has played an important role in contributing to the economic development of many countries around the world.

“The sub sector accounts for the majority of the enterprises in Nigeria and also accounts for the highest number of jobs created in Nigeria’s economy.”

The DG also said that the training has three components, namely; sensitisation, capacity building and empowerment grant.

While declaring the training open, Gombe State Governor, Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya, said that the programme was timely, following the economic hardship in the country.

“The programme would contribute to the economic development of the state and the country at large,” the Governor said.

Inuwa Yahaya, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, General Services, office of the SSG, Alhaji Abdulkadir Adamu, appreciated SMEDAN and reiterated the government’s commitment to work with it for more opportunities for rural businesses.

He also said that the state government had organised an investment summit which attracted many investors into the state, saying, “This may not be unconnected with the business friendly environment of the state.”

In his remarks, Commissioner of Trade, Industry and Tourism, Alhaji Nasiru Mohammed, said that the training would enable the rural enterprise to acquire the needed business techniques as well as empower them with knowledge and skills.

He further said that Governor Inuwa Yahaya had empowered over 2,000 Small and Medium Enterprises in the state and also established 1,000 hectares of land Industrial park to serve as an export processing zone.

He said, “This is a platform that will attract domestic and foreign investors to come and invest.”

He commended SMEDAN for organising the training and also encouraged the participant to be attentive, learn the techniques that will improve their businesses.

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