- Halts Issuance of License To BDCs
- Retains Lending Rate
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has banned the sale of foreign exchange (Forex) to Bureau De Change (BDCs) operators in a major clampdown on their operations in the country.
CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, while announcing this on Tuesday hinged the decision on the discovery by the apex bank that BDCs have become the channel for all forms of illicit financial flows in the country, including money laundering.
Emiefele made the announcement after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting at the CBN headquarters, Abuja.
The CBN has also taken a stance to stop the issuance of new licenses to BDCs, including current applications that are being processed.
Hence forth, the CBN said it will only channel “significant allocation for foreign exchange to banks to meet legitimate demands for Forex.
“All commercial banks have been ordered to create teller points in their branches to pay out Forex to customers without any hindrance so long as the customer presents the minimum requirements,” Emefiele stated.
He lamented that rather than being partners to the CBN in selling small amount of dollars to travelers and other retail users to meet their urgent needs, the BDC operators have become agents in the further dollarization of the Nigerian economy, leaving telling effects on the Nigerian Naira, whose value has sank to record low.
The CBN Governor further averred that the apex bank will deal ruthlessly with any commercial banks found to be collaborating with foreign organisations.
Meanwhile, members of the MPC voted to retain the lending rate (MPR) at 11.5 percent – the rate it had been since September 2020.
“The MPC made the decision to hold all policy parameters constant. Committee thus decided by a unanimous vote to retain monetary policy rate at 11.5%,” Emefiele said.
“MPC voted to retain asymmetric corridor +100 -700 basis points. It also voted to retain cash reserve ratio at 27.5% and retain liquidity ratio at 30%.”