IN what looks like a way to clean the parallel market off illicit financing and illegal handling of currencies and also a move to sharpen the banking industry and the financial market and also to put a stop to terrorism financing, the central Bank of Nigeria has ordered banks in the country to stop Foreign Exchange or Forex to Bureau De Change operators otherwise called BDCs.
The central bank through its governor, Godwin Emefiele made this known today Tuesday 27th July, 2021 on a nationwide broadcast in the country. The CBN boss also added that the Apex Bank will also no longer process applications for BDC licenses in the country.
According to the governor, he said it is sad that the bureau de change BDCs operators have allowed themselves to be used as agent of graft as the channel is used for illicit transfer of forex thereby having effect on the economy of the country.
Emefiele further said that a few international bodies, including some embassies and donor agencies, have been complicit in illegal forex transactions which have hindered the flow of foreign exchange into the country, which is a negative factor on the economy of the country.
He thereafter said a lot of the organizations in the country have chosen to channel forex through the black market than use the official Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, called Nafex.
The apex bank governor however maintained that the CBN in charge of regulations will “deal ruthlessly” with banks allowing illegal forex dealers to use their platforms and will report the defaulting international organizations to their regulators and the appropriate quarters.
Meanwhile the governor mandated the Commercial Banks to “as a matter of urgency and transparently sell forex to customers who present the required documents emphasizing that all banks are to immediately create dedicated tellers for the same purpose.
However the governor appeal to customers not attended to, by the banks not to fight or create a scene but report to the CBN through a toll free number: 0700 22 55 226 or email: [email protected].
In his conclusion, the CBN boss therefore said the measure is not punitive on anyone, but to ensure that the Central Bank of Nigeria, which is the bankers bank, is able to carry out its legitimate mandate of serving all Nigerians effectively and efficiently.