The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has banned sale of foreign exchange (FX) to Bureau De Change (BDC) operators in the country accusing them of illegal forex trading.
Governor of the Nigerian apex bank Godwin Emefiele stated this on Tuesday at the end of the monetary policy committee meeting in Abuja, the Nigerian capital.
Mr Emefiele noted that the apex bank receives about 5,000 applications monthly for BDC registration, and confirmed that the CBN will no longer license new BDC operations in the country. He also said that the bank has halted all current processes for new licenses.
According to the Governor the apex Bank will not fail to deal “ruthlessly” with Nigerian commercial banks caught in these illegal acts.
“They have turned themselves away from their objectives,” Mr Emefiele said.
“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.”
The CBN governor told journalists that there is evidence of prevailing ownership of several BDCs by the same promoters to procure multiple FX from the central bank.
“Several international organisations, embassies patronise BDC through illegal forex dealer to fund their institutions,” he added.
“We will deal ruthlessly with Nigerian banks that deal with illegal BDCs and we will report foreign organisations patronising them.”
He also mandated banks to sell forex to customers.
This is not the first time the CBN has placed a ban on the sale of forex to BDCs.
In 2016, the apex bank announced the discontinuation of the sale of forex to BDC operators – a decision that was made to curb the dubious acts of the BDC operators.