CBN pays N105bn caution fees to BDCs
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday said it would refund caution deposits worth N105 billion to nearly 3,000 registered Bureau de Change (BDC) operators.
A circular signed by CBN Director, Financial Policy & Regulation, Kelvin Amugo, said the decision was reached following recent development in the operations of BDCs in the economy, prompting the apex bank to refund the mandatory caution deposit of N35 million each to all BDC operators.
He, however, said the regulator will retain the N1 million licensing fee paid by each of the operators. Amugo urged the eligible BDCs to apply for refund of their caution deposit, attaching evidence of payment and bank transfer details.
President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Aminu Gwadabe, told journalists in Abuja that the cash refund is a welcome development.
He said the refund plan is an indication that the CBN has finally shut its doors to the BDCs. He said since the caution deposits were to enable operators access the official forex window, the stoppage of dollar sales to BDCs by the CBN means the funds should be refunded.
Gwadabe said the operators are still awaiting CBN's modalities on accessing the autonomous forex market to enable them continue in business.
He said the funds will go a long way in boosting the capacity of operators to stay in business and source funds from other sources.
The CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele had announced a new foreign exchange (forex) policy that includes the stoppage of weekly dollar sales to BDCs.
'The bank (CBN) would henceforth discontinue its sales of foreign exchange to BDCs. Operators in this segment of the market would now need to source their foreign exchange from the autonomous source. They must, however, note that the CBN would deploy more resources to monitoring these sources to ensure that no operator is in violation of our anti-money laundering laws,' Emefiele said at news conference on the review of the contentious forex policy at CBN's Abuja head office. The Nation