News Column

Recapitalisation - 2,000 Forex Dealers Meet CBN Deadline

August 6, 2014

Kayode Ekundayo

No fewer than 2,000 Bureau De Change (BDCs) operators have met the recapitalization deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), paying a total sum of N70bn as at Monday.

CBN had on June 23rd, among other things, raised the minimum capital requirement of BDCs to N35m from N10m. It also raised the mandatory caution deposit to N35m from $10,000.

On July 7th, the apex bank extended the deadline from July 15 to July 31st, in response to appeals and intervention of Association of Bureau de Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) and both chambers of the National Assembly. The policy became effective last Monday.

Daily Trust reliably learnt yesterday that the leadership of the Association of Bureau de Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) is making a case for the remaining 3,000 members who could not meet the deadline.

At a meeting with top CBN officials in Abuja on Monday, the leadership of ABCON presented fresh options for the consideration of the apex regulatory body. Part of these include treasury bills interest on the caution deposit, categorisation of BDCs and an open time frame.

Although, CBN officials who attended to the leadership of the group did not give any assurances, the two parties, it was gathered, agreed to continue discussion with relevant stakeholders to ensure that the interests of other members who failed the recapitalization process are protected.

However, in a telephone conversation with Daily Trust yesterday, the president of ABCON, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said the fate of the other members who did not meet the deadline was dicey. The association would however continue to mount pressure on the CBN to consider various options it has proposed.

"Also, in cognisance of the fact that all BDCs may not be able to either secure merging partners, source for new investors and or raise money internally to meet the capital require, we have recommended that CBN allow BDCs with N10m capital to continue to exist but may be denied access to the weekly CBN dollar sales. This means they can trade but would not be allowed to buy dollars from CBN."

"To us, it is going to be a continuous struggle until total victory is achieved. But right now and unfortunately too, the fate of our 3000 members is dicey even though the policy became effective yesterday (Monday), though with operational and logistic challenges," he said.

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Source: AllAfrica

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