THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said it will not sell foreign exchange (FX) to Bureau De Change (BDC) operators in the country.
The CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, who announced this at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee’s meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, accused the operators of dollarising the economy.
He also accused the operators of aiding money laundering and illegal financial inflows.
“They have turned themselves away from their objectives,” he 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.”
He said evidence abounded that several international organisations and embassies patronised BDCs through illegal FX dealers to fund their institutions.
He said the CBN would channel weekly dollar sales to commercial banks to meet legitimate forex demands of Nigerians.
The bank warned that it would ‘deal ruthlessly’ with banks allowing illegal forex dealers to use their platforms, promising to report defaulting international organisations to their regulators.
“We will deal with them ruthlessly, and we will report the international bodies,” he said.
An economist said the ban would worsen dollar availability in the country, noting that “getting FX from BDCs is easier than banks. So, tightening it by taking it to the banks might help curb fraud, but it would make access difficult. I hope the CBN takes care of that.”