CBN Increases BDCs To 3,147
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has increased the number of Bureaux De Change (BDCs) operating in the country to 3,147 as at Tuesday, January 10, 2017
This was made known on the apex bank’s website which revealed an increase by 149 from the 2,998 that the CBN published shortly before it introduced the flexible exchange rate regime in June 2016. The CBN posted a list of 71 finance companies that it said were licensed to operate in the country as at Tuesday, January 10, 2017.
The steady increase in the number of BDCs is contrary to the decision of the CBN in January last year which was that to halt sales of Forex to the firms would result in a decline in their numbers.
Recall that the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said the number of BDCs had risen from 74 in 2005 to 2,786 in 2016,adding that the regulator was receiving about 150 new BDC applications every month.
The CBN also said it was going to refund BDCs’ N35 million mandatory cautionary deposit and directed those of them that wanted to continue in the business to seek Forex from autonomous sources.
However, the decision hampered the Naira in the parallel market, with the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) insisting that the Naira will only recover if its members were allowed to access Forex from official sources.
The CBN eventually heeded ABCON’s demand, because on July 22, 2016, it issued a circular directing agent banks to approve International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) to sell foreign currency accruing from inward money remittances to licensed BDCs.
At an interactive session with journalists in Kaduna recently, a CBN official, Mr. Sadiq Ahmed, attributed the banking watchdog’s decision to continue licensing BDCs to the need to ensure exchange rate stability in the system.