The Central Bank of Nigeria says it stopped the sales of forex to Bureau De Change (BDC) operators, stressing that, the parallel market has become a conduit for money laundering, illicit forex flows and graft.
The governor of the apex bank, Godwin Emefiele said the apex bank will also no longer process applications for new BDC licences in the country.
Emefiele explained that henceforth the sale of foreign exchange by the CBN will go directly to commercial banks.
In a televised broadcast on Tuesday he said, “We are concerned that BDCs have allowed themselves to be used for graft.”
Emefiele accused international bodies, including some embassies and donor agencies, have been complicit in illegal forex transactions that have hindered the flow of foreign exchange into the country.
He said the organisations have chosen to channel forex through the black market than use the official Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, called Nafex.
He said the apex bank will “deal ruthlessly” with banks allowing illegal forex dealers to use their platforms and will report the defaulting international organisations to their regulators.
“We will deal with them ruthlessly and we will report the international bodies,” he said.
Emefiele said banks are mandated to “immediately” and transparently sell forex to customers who present the required documents. All banks are to immeidtaely create dedicated tellers for the same purpose.
Customers not attended to by the banks are to report to the CBN through a toll free number: 0700 22 55 226 or email: [email protected]
“This measure is not punitive on anyone, but it is to ensure the CBN is able to carry out its legitimate mandate of serving all Nigerians,” Emefiele said.