CBN orders BDCs to reapply for new licences 

THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all existing Bureau de Change operators (BDCs) to reapply for new operational licences.

The CBN issued a June 3 deadline for the licence renewal to enable the BDCs to continue operations in the foreign exchange market.

The apex bank disclosed this on Wednesday, May 22, in a document titled ‘Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines for Bureau De Change Operations in Nigeria’.

“All existing BDCs shall re-apply for a new licence according to any of the tiers or licence category of their choice as provided in the guidelines,” the document stated.

It said the BDCs must meet the minimum capital requirements for the licence category they apply for within six months, starting from June.

According to the release, the minimum capital requirement for tier-one BDC operators is N2 billion while for tier-two BDC operators is N500 million.

There is also a non-refundable application fee of N1 million and a non-refundable licence fee of N5 million naira for tier-one BDC operators.

Tier two operators are expected to pay a non-refundable application and licence fee of N250,000 and N2 million respectively.

“These operation-refundable guidelines for Bureau de Change in Nigeria issued in November 2015 and all related circulars and directives; the guidelines take effect from June 3, 2024,” the statements said.

According to the circular, the guidelines were part of reforms to reposition the BDC sub-sector to play its envisioned role in the foreign exchange market in Nigeria.



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    Also, applicants for new BDC licences must meet the conditions for the grant of licence by the tier or category of BDC chosen as stipulated in the Guidelines.

    BDC operators are also expected to submit the proposed BDC’s name, the promoter’s name, e-mail address and phone number.

    The ICIR reported that the CBN has been granting dollar access to the BDCs at a rate lower than the market rate to boost naira appreciation against the dollar.

    However, the naira is not strengthening against the dollar as expected by the apex bank, which has had massive impacts on goods imported into the country with the Nigerian Customs constantly changing its import duty rate to the detriment of the nation’s businesses.


    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

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