News Column

N35 Miliion Capital - BDC Operators Storm N/Assembly

July 2, 2014

Celestine Okafor

Bureau De Change (BDC) operators, on Tuesday, met with the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Finance to protest and seek the lawmakers' intervention on the recent N35 million imposed on each of them by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as minimum capital requirement.

Acting President of the Association of Bureau De Change of Nigeria, Aminu Gwadabe, who led his members to the National Assembly, told journalists that his group had met with the Governor of Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, on the issue before coming to the Parliament to table their grievances.

Gwadabe explained that the association held a fruitful deliberation with Emefiele on the controversial N35 million capitalisation and that the apex bank boss pledged to look into the issue.

Briefing the Senate Committee on Finance led by Senator Ahmed Makarfi, Gwadabe pointed out that the policy would worsen the current unemployment problem in the country if implemented. He also said the policy would further lead to an embarrassing devaluation of the nation's currency because many operators would close down, lamenting that the development would lead to emergence of various black markets across the country.

Gwadabe further told the senators that the imposition of policy on the operators would lead to circulation of fake foreign currencies, pointing out that the active involvement of the organised BDC operators in forex trading over the years had greatly improved the image of the country abroad as Nigerian travellers were no longer arrested for being in possession of fake currencies.

He said, "We appeal for the total reversal of the policy because it will force many of our members out of the market. The 1000 per cent increase in the mandatory cautionary deposit will further boost the black market segment of the economy and the return of exclusive group 'A' BDCs.

"It is our belief that the mop of N35m mandatory cautionary deposit oer BDC for about 3, 500 BDCs across the country is almost half the size of the Nigerian budget.

"This chunk of resources will be in in a non interest yielding account, which is counter productive as the mop up will give government more money and impoverish the majority of the citizenry resulting to a decrease in the consumption level savings and their ability to invest in the economy."

Makarfi, while responding to the delegation's presentation, appealed to the BDC operators to go about their agitation in the most orderly manner and pledged that the senate would continue to create constructive engagement with all stakeholders to ensure peace, harmony and progress in the sector.

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Source: AllAfrica

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