By Odunewu Segun
Following the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria to stop forex sales to operators of Bureau De Change in the country, the apex bank has refunded no less than N17.5 billion to operator who have officially requested for the refunds of their N35 million mandatory cautionary deposit.
National Daily gathered that 500 BDC operators from the over 2,000 officially registered by the CBN have got their refunds since the directive was issued.
It was also gathered that the refund had been made with a three per cent interest paid on the deposit in line with the bi-annual interest that is being paid by the apex bank to the BDC, the last of which was paid in July last year.
Meanwhile, a statement from the Association of Bureau De Change Operators in Nigeria said it is set to review and update its operators’ manual, create live trading platforms and automate transactions documentation requirements to be real-time online.
According to the statement, the BDC operators are targeting the annual $21 billion average forex inflow from Nigerians in Diaspora for their continued operations, in a heavy demand market.
The President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said the body has already made a proposition to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to allow its over 3,000 members operate correspondence bank account.
The accounts, he said, would allow the BDCs receive over $21 billion annual Diaspora remittances and also allowed to operate like money transfer agents.
He said the CBN is currently reviewing a proposal from the ABCON and is confident of getting positive feedback because of the need to raise the dollar liquidity position in the market which will also boost naira stability.
The World Bank Migration and Remittances Factbook 2016 showed that Nigerians living abroad sent home $20.8 billion in 2015. The figure is by far the largest volume of remittances to any country in Africa and the sixth largest in the world.