The Central Bank of Nigeria has ended the sales of forex to Bureau De Change operators, saying the parallel market has become a conduit for illicit forex flows and fraud.
The bank said it will no longer grant applications for BDC licences in the country.
The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, said Tuesday in a live TV broadcast that henceforth, weekly sales of foreign exchange by the CBN will go directly to commercial banks.
“We are concerned that BDCs have allowed themselves to be used for graft,” Emefiele said.
He said several international bodies, including some embassies and donor agencies, have been complicit in illegal forex transactions that have hindered the flow of foreign exchange into Nigeria.
He said the organisations have chosen to channel forex through the black market than use the official Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, called Nafex.
Emefiele said the regulator will “deal ruthlessly” with banks allowing illegal forex dealers to use their platforms and will report the defaulting international organisations to their regulators.
“We will deal with them ruthlessly and we will report the international bodies,” he said.
Emefiele added that banks are mandated to “immediately” and transparently sell forex to customers who present the required documents. All banks are to immediately create dedicated tellers for the same purpose.
Emefiele added that “This measure is not punitive on anyone, but it is to ensure the CBN is able to carry out its legitimate mandate of serving all Nigerians,”
Customers not attended to by the banks are to notify the CBN through a toll free number: 0700 22 55 226 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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