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CBN revokes licences of 236 Bureaux de Change

By The Citizen
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The Central Bank of Nigeria on Wednesday withdrew the licences of 236 Bureau de Change operators.

The bank, in a circular made available to our correspondent, said the withdrawal of the licences took effect from Monday, January 14, 2013.

The circular read in part, 'This is to inform all authorised dealers and buyers (BDC operators) and the general public that the operating licences of the Bureau de Change companies stated below are hereby revoked, with effect from January 14, 2013.

'Consequently, all authorised dealers, buyers and the general public are advised that any foreign exchange transactions, including sale to and purchases from these BDCs, as well as transfer of funds through them and or on their behalf is illegal.'

Some of the BDCs that got their licences revoked, according to the circular, are Acclaim, African Shelter, Afrinvest, Continental Finance Limited, Halal, Kano Agency, List and Naira Cheque.

Others are OMF, Planet, Safe, Sha'ada Fas, Sunlight, Taha, Third World, Vintage, Dual Currency, Sabon Ruwa and Sea BDC.

The CBN had, on November 3, 2010, in a circular referenced, FPR/DIR/CIR/FXM/01/004, cancelled the issuance of class 'A' BDC licences, following its review of the two-tier structure of the market.

The bank had said in a statement signed by its then Head of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Muhammed Abdullahi, that the latest appraisal of the policy initiative revealed gross abuses of the enhanced official funding of the Class 'A' category of the BDCs and the negation of the expected benefits to the economy

The bank said in the statement, 'The CBN has also been inundated with complaints from foreign countries that some Nigerian travellers indulge in cross-border transportation of large sums of foreign currencies in cash.

'Indeed, returns from the Nigerian Customs Service on foreign currency declaration by travellers show that large amounts, up to $3m cash, have been taken out of the country by individuals in single trips.'