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CBN releases fresh guidelines for forex sale by BDCs — 25 months after ‘ban’

BY TheCable

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released fresh operational mechanisms for the sale of forex by Bureau De Change (BDCs) operators within the country. 

This is coming 25 months after Godwin Emefiele, the suspended CBN governor, announced the discontinuance of foreign exchange sales to that segment of the forex market.

“The spread on buying and selling by BDC Operators shall be within an allowable limit of -2.5% to +2.5% of the Nigerian Foreign Exchange market window weighted average rate of the previous day,” the CBN said in a statement uploaded to its website on Friday.

“Mandatory rendition by BDC Operators of the statutory periodic reports (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly) on the Financial Institution Forex Rendition System (FIFX) which has been upgraded to meet individual Operator’s requirements.

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“Operators are to note that with effect from the date of this circular, non-rendition of returns would attract sanctions which may include withdrawal of operating license. Where Operators do not have any transaction within the period, they are- expected to render nil returns. Please be guided accordingly and ensure compliance.”

Emefiele had said the BDCs had become money laundering agents, emphasising that the CBN “will deal ruthlessly with Nigerian banks who have acted as collaborators with these illegal forex dealers, we will deal with them ruthlessly because they have allowed their banking and payment system infrastructure to facilitate these illegal dealings in foreign exchange”.

He claimed at the time that the BDCs were dollarising the Nigerian economy and subverting the cashless policy of the central bank.

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However, the new leadership at the CBN, in an effort to stabilise the foreign exchange market has asked the BDCs to be guided and stick to the new guidelines.

The apex bank did not state expressly if it would continue the sale of dollars to the BDCs.

According to the CBN website, there are 5,687 licenced BDCs in the country.

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