News Column

CBN - New BDC Guidelines Not Against Any Ethnic Group

July 18, 2014

Muhammad Bello

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has explained that the new policy to regulate the Bureau de Change (BDC) in the country is not deliberately targeted at the business interests of any section of the country.

Instead, the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said the policy was directed at conserving the nation's foreign reserves and strengthening its economy, just as he appealed to the House of Representatives to support the policy.

He said the CBN's expectation was to have in place BDC that is well-capitalised, properly structured and can effectively perform the roles of BDC in the Nigerian economy.

Emefiele explained these during an interactive session with the House Committee on Banking and Currency yesterday, stressing that the modifications were as a result of observations that the current operations of the BDC deviated from the set objectives for which they were licenced

According to him, a recent cross-country survey of BDC conducted by the CBN showed that 93 per cent of the BDC flouted the guidelines, as majority of them had no good accounting records, while many lacked adequate sales document and audit trail.

He said: "It is alarming to note that between January and March alone, a whopping sum of $4 billion was expended on foreign exchange and by our calculation, by December about $9 billion would been expended, so we cannot continue like this; we have to halt the dangerous trend in the interest of the nation.

"We noticed that most of the letters of credit for importations are on sugar, tooth pick, fish, tomatoes paste, rice and other things we can easily produce in the country. Nigeria is for all of us, this policy is not about me and you but for all Nigerians, so we need to conserve our foreign exchange for the nation's development and not for the few for their selfish interest."

The CBN governor further added that: "We want Nigerians and others to use our foreign exchange for legitimate transactions, it is only in Nigeria that you will see someone travelling out of the country with a laugage containing $10million, and once he declares the amount in line with the law of the land, nobody asks questions about the source, the business he is doing and why he is not investing the money in his country."

He indicated that considering the need to curb the abuse of forex in the country, the CBN would soon propose to the National Assembly stiffer laws on foreign exchange movement.

Earlier, Chairman of the House Committee on Banking and Currency, Hon. Jones Chukwudi Onyeriri, noted that the committee respected the autonomy of the CBN but would work with the apex bank to ensure that it delivers on its mandate in the overall interest of the nation.

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Source: AllAfrica

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