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CBN reviews BDCs rate to N357 per dollar - NEW TELEGRAPH

JUNE 05, 2018

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reviewed the rate at which it sells dollars to Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators from N360 to N357 per dollar, New Telegraph learnt yesterday.

President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Aminu Gwadabe, who disclosed this in a chat with our correspondent, said the new rate was part of the decisions reached at the meeting between the Apex Bank and BDC operators in Lagos last Friday.

He noted that by agreeing to bring down the rate, the banking watchdog has consented to one of the long held demands by BDCs that the regulator should merge BDCs dollar buying rate with that of commercial banks.

BDC operators had in the past few months urged the CBN to merge their dollar-buying rate with that of commercial banks.

In a statement issued by ABCON a few days before its meeting with the CBN, the association had said: “The BDC business has been badly affected by ‘uncompetitive’ rate as the CBN sells dollars to BDCs at higher rate compared to what it sells to commercial banks, yet both institutions target the same market segment and customers. The BDCs buy dollar from the International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) at N360/$1 and sell to end users at N361.5/$1 while the CBN sells to commercial banks at N357/$1 and the banks sell to end users at N360/$1.”

The ABCON boss, however, disclosed that the regulator did not agree to BDCs’ request for a review of the latest forex measures unveiled by the CBN, which mandates BDCs to compulsorily access dollars from the CBN on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

According to him, although BDCs would face the challenge of sourcing liquidity to be able to comply with the CBN’s directive, they were optimistic that they would be able to surmount it due to the merging of their dollar buying rate with that of the banks.

“The major problem was the former rate at which we were buying dollars from the CBN. Now that the rate has been merged with that of the banks, we are confident that we will comply with the directive. We working with the CBN to ensure exchange rate stability,” he stated.

After months of exchange rate stability in the country, the naira had come under pressure in recent weeks, depreciating to N366 per dollar and N363/$1 on the parallel market and the Investors’ and Exporters’ (I&E) forex window respectively.

To stop further weakening of the local currency, the CBN had in a circular issued on May 27, mandated all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and BDCs to buy and sell foreign currency to travellers (both customers and non-customers) upon presentation of relevant valid travel documents such as visa and tickets over the counter, adding, that all travellers should be attended to immediately at banks’ counters.

Specifically, it also stated: “All BDCs shall henceforth access dollars from the CBN on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It is compulsory that all BDCs access currency at least three times weekly. Any BDC that fails to access the FX window at least three times weekly shall have their license reviewed by the CBN. Compliance is Compulsory.”

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