First posted by the cable.
Bureaux de Change Operators say they are not comfortable with the new forex purchase directive issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
In a statement on Sunday, the CBN had said banks must now attend to customers’ forex needs over the counter and BDCs must purchase forex three times a week.
“All BDCs shall henceforth access dollars from the CBN on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It is compulsory that all BDCs access currency at least three times weekly,” the CBN said.
“Any BDC that fails to access the FX window at least three times weekly shall have their license reviewed by the CBN. Compliance is compulsory.”
Commenting on the issue, Aminu Gwadabe, Association of Bureaux de Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) president, said the directive is not acceptable.
“The CBN’s directive at this time of our operational difficulties is no doubt precarious and vague and was intended to emasculate a sector that has helped the system to stabilize and thus unacceptable,” he said.
Gwadabe said BDCs are heavily regulated despite being a small unit of the financial sector.
“The BDC sector is confronted with many challenges such as multiple exchange rate, abnormal bank charges, value-added tax (VAT) and commission on turnover (COT), parallel market operators and illegal international money transfer operators (IMTOs), porous international borders, complex documentation requirements and poor capacity/ skills of operators
“ABCON is, therefore, using this opportunity to appeal to the CBN to take urgent steps to review the rate at which the dollar is sold to BDCs in order to boost ongoing recovery of the naira against the dollar.
“The BDCs buy dollar from IMTOs at N360/$1 and sell to end users at N361.5/$1 while the CBN sells to commercial banks at N357/$1 and the banks sell to end users at N360/$1.”
In a bid to boost forex liquidity and improve access to foreign exchange, the CBN provides forex to various segments of the market weekly.