An economist, Prof. Akpan Ekpo, has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for discontinuing sale of forex to Bureau de Change (BDC) operators in Nigeria.
Ekpo, a former Director General of the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), made the commendation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Lagos.
According to him, for BDC operators to obtain forex from CBN at official rate and then sell to those who need forex was unnecessary.
“The decision to discontinue sale of forex to BDC operators is a welcome development, they should never have become major players in the market.
“Nigeria is one of the few countries in Sub-Sahara Africa in which the Central Bank sells forex to BDC operators.
“We argued for years that the practice should cease but we were labeled radicals.
“BDC operators should source for their forex and engage in buying and selling of foreign currencies,” he said.
Ekpo advised them to strive to bring more forex from legal sources to the economy adding that the impact on the economy would depend on the quantum of forex in the economy.
NAN reports that at the end of the 280th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on July 27, members unanimously decided to stop forex sales to Bureau de Change operators.
Announcing th decision, the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said that forex sales would be re-channelled to commercial banks to meet PTA, BTA needs of customers
He said that members also decided to suspend licensing of more BDCs in the country.
He advised commercial banks to dedicate teller points in every branch for sale of forex to customers.
Also, he urged customers to report banks who failed to sell forex to them despite meeting requirements.
Furthermore, CBN promised to come down hard on commercial banks who were found to have connived with foreign embassies, missions and institutions who have conducted their forex businesses illegally and in flagrant abuse of local regulations.
The apex bank would also report such errant institutions to the relevant authorities in their home countries in an effort to redirect forex business to the I&E FX window.