The Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria has faulted the stoppage of dollar sales to its members, while calling on the Central Bank of Nigeria to reverse the decision.
The ABCON, in a communique issued at the end of its national emergency general meeting held in Lagos, also said the N35m caution fee should be reviewed, adding that the interest on the fee should be paid on Treasury bill rate.
The President, ABCON, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said, “While we are not totally surprised by the decision, we, however, believe there are better ways of addressing the challenges in the foreign exchange market rather than the use of big stick, reflex and trial and error policies.
“We, however, take exception to some of the claims made by the CBN Governor in his address as these are not correct reflections of the role and contributions of BDCs in the foreign exchange market.”
He said the CBN governor created the impression that all BDC operators were rent-seekers, “who do nothing but engage in round-tripping of foreign exchange and speculative activities.
“This is not so. There are many BDCs doing legitimate business as defined by the CBN guidelines for the industry and the recent increasing compliance culture of BDC operators on return renditions to the CBN.”
Gwadabe said the CBN should impose heavy sanction on any operator found committing any illegality, as there would always be bad eggs in every group or industry.
“But the CBN would rather criminalise the whole BDC subsector instead of doing the work of enforcing its regulations through appropriate sanctions. We take exception to this,” he said.
The ABCON president noted that the inability of the CBN to meet demand for forex for legitimate items was what was fuelling demand at the parallel market and the depreciation of the naira in the market.
“This is a reality that cannot be solved or wished away by stopping dollar sales to BDCs because what the CBN sells to BDCs is less than 10 per cent of what it sells to banks. Hence, the decision to stop dollar sales to BDCs would only worsen the situation.
“While the Governor gave several reasons to justify the decision to stop dollar sales to BDCs, we believe the main reason is to make Travelex the only official outlet for retail foreign exchange transactions in the country.