Licences will not be issued to new Bureau De Change Operators across the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said.
The apex bank governor, Godwin Emefiele disclosed that CBN receives about 574 license applications from BDCs every month adding that there are 5,500 licensed BDC operators across the country.
CBN also announced that it has halted the sales of forex to the Bureau De Change operators in the country with immediacy.
Emefiele made this known after the Monetary Policy Committee(MPC) two-day meeting in Abuja on Tuesday. The MPC also retained its rate at 11.5% at the end of the meeting.
It also retained the Cash Reserve Ratio at 27.5%and Liquidity Ratio at 30%
During the meeting on the committee’s decision, Emefiele announced that “The MPC made the decision to hold all parameters constant. The committee unanimously voted to maintain the 11.5% rate.
MPC voted as follows: to retain MPR at 11.5%, retain te asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR, retain the Cash Reserve Ratio at 27.5% and retain the Liquidity Ratio at 30%.”
Commenting on the decision to stop forex sales to the BDCs, Emefiele said the MPC noted with regret and great concerns that the BDCs has defeated their purpose of providing forex to retail users but instead had become wholesale illegal dealers.
The CBN governor said he observed that BDCs had continued to make huge profits while Nigerians suffered in pain.
Some of the shortcomings noticed by the CBN was the high rent-seeking by operators who are only interested in wide margins, dollarization of the Nigerian economy, subversion of the CBN’s cashless policy, prevailing ownership of several BDC by the same owners in order to get your multiple FX and ‘regrettably,’ international organisation and embassy patronage of illegal forex dealers.
He also added that commercial banks would be monitored to provide forex for the legitimate use of Nigerians.
The governor threatened to crack down on banks still dealing illegally with unauthorized forex traders and urged the international organisations to participate in the I&E window.