Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN

Infractions: CBN terminates Forex sales to Bureau De Change operators

*The Central Bank of Nigeria says the measure is to ensure that the Bankers’ Bank activates its legitimate mandate of serving all Nigerian consumers of financial products and services

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

For apparently constituting themselves into some cartel of wholesale and illegal dealers exploiting Nigerian consumers, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed it banned the sales of Foreign Exchange (Forex) to Bureau De Change (BDC) operators in the country.

Mr. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of CBN, Tuesday, July 27, 2021, announced the ban in a live TV broadcast after the bank has retained its benchmark policy rate.

The CBN Governor said the stoppage of Forex sales to the BDCs was essential because the parallel market has become a conduit for illicit Forex flows and graft in the economy.

Emefiele stated: “We are concerned that BDCs have allowed themselves to be used for graft.

“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.”

According to him, the apex bank will no longer process applications for BDC licences in Nigeria.

Emefiele noted that the weekly sales of foreign exchange by the CBN would henceforth go directly to commercial banks in the country.

In regard to the latest development, the Nigerian banking sector regulator said it would “deal ruthlessly” with commercial banks allowing illegal Forex dealers to use their platforms, and will report the defaulting international organisations to their regulators.

The CBN Chief noted: “We will deal with them ruthlessly, and we will report the international bodies.”

Banks are mandated to “immediately” and transparently sell Forex to consumers who present the required documents, and all banks are to immediately create dedicated tellers for the same purpose, stated he.

Emefiele also said that international bodies, including some embassies and donor agencies, had been complicit in illegal Forex transactions that have hindered the flow of foreign exchange into the country.

The CBN governor added that such organisations have chosen to channel Forex through the black market rather than use the official Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, otherwise known as Nafex.

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