By Chioma Obinagwam
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has made it mandatory for all the Bureau de Change (BDCs) operators in Nigeria to access Foreign Exchange(Forex) from the CBN three times in a week.
Mr Isaac Okorafor, CBN Acting Director of Corporate Communications, disclosed this in a statement issued in Abuja, on Sunday.
He said: “All BDCs shall henceforth access forex from the CBN on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
It is compulsory that all BDCs access forex at least three times weekly.”
He added that non- compliance to the directive would lead to a review of the license of the defaulting BDC.
”Any BDC that fails to access the forex window at least three times weekly shall have its licence reviewed by the CBN,” Okorafor said.
Recall that at a press briefing organised by the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria(ABCON), the president of the association, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe had called on the CBN to review the exchange rate band at which Bureaux de Change buy dollars to align with commercial banks’ buying rate.
Nevertheless, the apex bank has consistently reiterated its resolve to converge the rates of the various Forex windows and his been in the forefront of it.
In the same vein, the Acting Director authorised all commercial banks to sell foreign exchange to travellers Over The Counter (OTC) whether they operate an account with the bank or not.
According to him, the new directive will allow eligible travellers more access to foreign exchange and allow more liquidity to the market.
He said the banks were mandated to do this once a customer or non-customer presents relevant, valid travel documents such as visa and travel ticket.
“All travellers shall be attended to immediately at the banks’ counters. Any contravention shall be sanctioned by the CBN,” he said.
This new directive is coming after the CBN announced on Wednesday that some banks were turning back customers that come to purchase Forex for Personal and Business Travel as well as for pilgrimage.
According to the CBN, it has supplied enough dollars to the banks to meet needs in the invisible segment.
Customers were enjoined to report any bank that refuses to attend to their legitimate demands within 24 hours.
However, through consistent injection of Forex in system, the apex bank has been able to achieve liquidity and is close to converging the rates.