The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has assured operators of Bureau De Change in the country that it has enough dollar cash to meet demand by operators who sell to retail end-users for eligible transactions.
This assurance was given by the apex bank’s Director of Communications, Mr. Ibrahim Muazu, who insisted that the naira remains stable while responding to the allegations by BDC operators that the dollar was scarce.
Muazu explained that only operators that render appropriate returns would be allowed to buy forex from the central bank’s auction process. He said: “Some of them were not able to buy from the CBN because they did not render appropriate returns. If they comply, by giving us appropriate BVNs of those they sold dollars to for proper verification, they would be sold to. Only those that render appropriate returns would be attended to.
“All genuine demands are met and the market has been stable since last month,” he added.
National Daily gathered that while the naira closed at N197/$1 at the official market, it was sold at N246/$1 at some parallel market points at Marina, Lagos.
It was also gathered that the CBN last week suspended about 1,600 BDC operators from participating in its forex auction. The regulator’s hammer fell on the currency dealers over their failure to render appropriate returns on the sale of the dollar.
The CBN recently warned banks and the forex dealers to ensure they render effective returns on dollars purchased from its official window or they would be punished. Most of those affected were firms that allegedly gave false bank verification numbers of those they said purchased forex from them.
A CBN circular dated November 25, 2015, had stated: “It has been observed that a number of the BDCs purchased foreign exchange from the CBN without rendering returns on their utilisation. Consequently, all BDCs must comply with the following pre-conditions before accessing forex from the CBN window: Rendition of returns on previous week purchases through e-FASS; and physical submission of returns on utilisation.
However, A BDC operator, who spoke to National Daily on condition of anonymity, said BDC operators that were fortunate to purchase the greenback have been hoarding it, thereby creating room for scarcity in the market.