Nigeria’s apex bank on Tuesday announced it has halted the sales of foreign exchange to the country’s parallel market operators, also known as the Bureau De Change (BDC), citing unwholesome business practices.
Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele said harmful practices of BDCs have continued to put enormous pressure on Naira, the Nigerian local currency.
In this light, forex will now be sold through the country’s commercial banks through which deserving customers can buy, Emefiele told reporters in Abuja after a meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee of the CBN.
“The CBN observed that the BDCs aid illicit financial flows and other financial crimes. The bank has thus, decided to discontinue the sale of forex to the BDCs with immediate effect,” the CBN governor said.
According to him, a national regulation permits the parallel market operators to sell a maximum of 5,000 dollars per day, but the CBN observed that they have since been flouting that regulation and selling millions of dollars per day.
“Any bank found circumventing the new system would be sanctioned,” Emefiele said, adding once a customer presents all required documentation to purchase forex, the commercial banks should ensure they get the forex.
Local experts had been calling on the CBN for urgent steps to check the constant depreciation of the Naira, as well as focus on policy decisions that would stabilize the naira and control rising inflation. Enditem