BDC: Experts Weigh-In On Ban of Dollar Sales to Operators

Experts in economic matters have given their candid opinions over the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN’s decision to ban dollar sales to Bureau De Change, BDC Operators.

While sharing his views, politician and Economist, Mr Tope Fasua, lauded the CBN for restricting the sale of Foreign Exchange, FX, to commercial banks.

Fasua, the Chief Executive Officer of Global Analytics Consulting Ltd., said that though the measure was a shock to the system, it was necessary to sanitise the forex market.

According to him, the purpose of BDCs had been defeated, with most of them falling short of their mandates.

He said the CBN had done the right thing, even though it came as a shock to the system, stressing that Nigeria presently has about 7,000 BDCs, which is a world record in itself.

The Businessman noted that all the BDCs are meant to sell forex to travellers, yet, they do otherwise, adding that they instead engage in unsanctioned activities.

On his part, a past president of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, CIBN, Mr Okechukwu Unegbu, advised the apex bank to reconsider what he described as a “blanket ban” on BDCs. gathered from the agency reports that Unegbu believes the ban would create some challenges in the market as commercial banks might not be able to meet the forex demands of importers.

He, however, noted that not all the BDCs are bad, but as it is now, CBN has banned both the good and the bad, stressing that CBN’s punitive measure can negatively affect the forex trading market.

He pointed out that most people rush to BDCs when they cannot access forex from commercial banks, adding that even the banks have shortcomings.

He said banks sometimes bend the rule, but the BDCs became obvious due to their large numbers, making it hard for CBN to keep a tab on their activities.

Responding to CBN’s decision to sideline BDC operators from forex trading, Aminu Gwadabe, President of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria, ABCON, said that the association would engage the apex bank to resolve all the issues that led to the ban.

“BDCs are licensed to provide retail FX services, including buying from the public and also selling to end-users for allowable transactions, namely PTA, BTA, payment of medical and school fees,” he explained.

Gwadabe said that while the CBN had stopped dollar sales to BDCs, it has not cancelled their operating licences or banned them from providing forex services to public members.

He called on ABCON members to see the CBN pronouncement as a wake-up call and an opportunity to widen their customer base and deepen their business.

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