The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has stopped the sales of forex to Bureau De Change (BDC) operators in the country with immediate effect.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this at the end of a two-day meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee(MPC) in Abuja, on Tuesday.
The MPC also retained the Monetary Policy Rate at 11.5.
It also retained the Cash Reserve Ratio and Liquidity Ratio at 27.5 per cent and 30 per cent respectively.
Announcing the committee’s decision, Emefiele said: “The MPC made the decision to hold all parameters constant. The committee thought by unanimous vote to retain the Monetary Policy Rate at 11.5 per cent.
“In summary, MPC voted as follows, one, retain MPR at 11.5 per cent; retain the asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR; retain the CRR at 27.5 per cent; and retain the Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.”
Speaking on the the decision to stop forex sales to the BDCs, Emefiele said, the MPC noted with disappointment and great concerns that the BDCs had defeated their purpose of existence to provide forex to retail users, but instead, they had become wholesale and illegal dealers.
He said the apex bank receives about 5,000 applications every month for BDC registration, adding that the operators are making efforts to dollarise the Nigerian economy.
The CBN Governor said BDC operators have become a conduit for illegal financial flows working with corrupt people to conduct money laundering in Nigeria.
“They have turned themselves away from their objectives.
“They are now agents that facilitate graft and corruption in the country.
“We cannot continue with the bad practices that are happening at the BDC market,” he said
Emefiele added that there is evidence of prevailing ownership of several BDCs by the same promoters to procure multiple forex from the CBN.
“Several international organisations, embassies patronise BDC through illegal forex dealer to fund their institutions.
“We will deal ruthlessly with Nigerian banks that deal with illegal BDCs and we will report foreign organisations patronising them,” Emefiele said.
He said the CBN will henceforth channel weekly allocations of dollar sales to commercial banks to meet legitimate forex demands.