The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has threatened to report embassies, international organizations and development finance organizations to their countries for contravening Nigeria’s foreign exchange regulations.
This follows the allegation that these embassies and financial organizations use and sell foreign exchange to the Bureau De Change (BDC) operators to fund their local operations instead of selling their forex at the Investors and Exporters (I & E) window, which is the official market.
This was made known by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, on Tuesday, while briefing the press on the outcome of the 2-day Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, which was held in Abuja.
The CBN boss also announced immediate discontinuation of the sale of foreign exchange to Bureau de Change (BDC) operators in the country due to the unwholesome business practices of the BDCs, which he said had continued to put enormous pressure on the Naira.
Emefiele said the CBN will no longer process or issue new licences for BDC operations in the country, adding that all licences currently being processed regardless of the stage of processing will be discontinued.
He said that the BDCs were now agents that facilitate graft and corruption in the country in addition to becoming conduits for illegal financial flows working with corrupt people to conduct money laundering in Nigeria.
”The BDCs were regulated to sell a maximum of 5000 dollars per day, but CBN observed that they have since been flouting that regulation and selling millions of dollars per day.
The CBN also observed that the BDCs aid illicit financial flows and other financial crimes,” Emefiele said.
The CBN boss said the apex bank will now channel weekly allocations currently meant for BDCs to commercial banks.
He further directed all commercial banks to with immediate effect, create designated branches for the sale and disposal of FOREX to customers who deserve it for legitimate purposes adding that these commercial banks were now permitted to begin to accept cash deposits of foreign exchange from their customers.
The CBN boss, however, explained that these measures were to ensure the apex bank was in a better position to carry out its mandate in an effective and efficient manner which guarantees preservation of the shared commonwealth and the hard earned financial system stability for the benefit of Nigerians