The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in a bid to rescue the naira which continues its loss against major currencies, has directed agent banks to authorise international money transfer operators to sell foreign currency accruing from inward money remittances to licensed Bureau De Change operators (BDCs).
The directive was contained in a circular dated July 22, 2016 issued by the apex bank and pasted on its website.
This is a volte face for the apex bank which in January this year stopped the sale of foreign exchange to BDCs, asking them to source foreign exchange from autonomous sources “as part of measures to reduce the pressure on the nation’s foreign reserves.”
According to the circular with reference number TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/004, which was signed by the Acting Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Mr W.D. Gotring, the CBN took that decision as part of “continued effort to ensure the stability of the exchange rate and to encourage participation of all critical stakeholders in the foreign exchange market.”
The statement added, “All international monetary operators are required to remit foreign currency to the agent banks for disbursement in naira to beneficiaries while the foreign currency proceeds shall be sold to the BDCs.”
It stated also that “the foreign currency proceeds from the international money transfer sold to the BDC operators shall be retailed to end users in compliance with the provisions of anti-money laundering laws and observance of appropriate Know Your Customer (KYC) principles, including the use of Bank Verification Number (BVN).
“Furthermore, authorised dealers and BDCs are required to render returns of the operation daily and monthly to the Director, Trade and Exchange, CBN via e-FASS application, in accordance with extant regulation.
“For the avoidance of doubt, failure by any authorised dealers and BDC operators to render returns as and when due shall attract appropriate sanctions, including withdrawal of dealership’’.