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Forex: CBN releases fresh list of licensed Bureau De Change operators

*The Central Bank of Nigeria has published an updated list of 2,991 approved Bureau De Change operators in line with the implementation of key reforms, including the capital raising for the BDC operators in the West African country

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Tuesday, July 18, 2023, released the updated list of the licensed Bureau De Change (BDC) operators in the West African country.

In the fresh list published by the CBN, the total number of approved BDC dealers has been reduced to 2,991.

ConsumerConnect reports the BDCs are the major influencers of exchange rates in the Nigerian economy.

The CBN document titled: ‘Approved BDCs’, also indicated that the licenses of 2,698 BDCs had been withdrawn.

It is recalled the Central Bank of Nigeria, last year published a similar list in a document with reference: REF: FPR/DIR/PUB/CIR/001/037 and titled, ‘List of CBN Licensed Bureaux De Change As at December 31, 2021’, in which it approved 5,689 black market dealers.

Prior increase in number of Forex operators

Prior to the emergence of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR, the operators had grown from 74 in 2005 to 5,689 in 2021, a report said.

The number of BDCs further grew by over 100 percent under Mr. Godwin Emefiele, suspended Governor of CBN, who later banned the sale of foreign exchange to BDCs over accusations of round tripping and involvement in illegal financial flows.

It was gathered that under the Tinubu administration, a document titled, ‘Policy Advisory Council Report: National Economy Sub-committee’, advised the implementation of key reforms like raising the capitalisation for BDC operators.

The Committee as well suggested that the CBN allows the Nigerian banks to operate as the primary dealers to supply the Forex market.

Since the unification of exchange rate and subsequent CBN’s floating of the Naira June 2023, the national currency has fallen to N795.28 at the Investors’ and Exporters’ (I&E) FX window.

The situation is reportedly more severe in the parallel market, where it closed at N820 per Dollar, the British Pound closed at N1095 and the Euro at N905.

In his comments on market dynamics, Aminu Gwadebe, President of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), in a recent statement, also said that the Forex market would remain volatile because BDCs are excluded from the I&E window.

Gwadebe stated: “The volatility of the Naira has been a stumbling block for the slow economic growth of Nigeria.

“The I&E window is laudable, it’s patriotic and nationalistic, but no policy can actualise its mission without carrying the interest of the subsector (which is the BDCs).”

The ABCON President also noted the “I&E window is supposed to run on three legs, the banks, the CBN and the BDCs, overtly or covertly, the BDCs are missing.”

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