In the Bank’s latest official circular, the Central Bank of Nigeria has announced its decision to ban the hawking of foreign exchange on streets as from January 1st, 2016. This is a practice commonly used by many Nigerians in preparation for journeys abroad, most of whom reside in the urban hubs of Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.
The development was stated in the Bank’s new guidelines for the operations of Bureaux de Change (BDCs) operators, released in November 2015. It was not made known how perpetrators would be dealt with, but it was cited that such actions will be severely punished and were “non-permissible”.
Excerpts from the guidelines titled Revised Operational Guidelines for Bureau de Change
No person shall carry on the business of Bureau De Change (BDC) in Nigeria, except with the prior authorization of the CBN.
A BDC shall be construed as any company that is licenced to carry on small scale foreign exchange business in Nigeria and whose sole object is the carrying on of such business on a stand-alone basis.
Every BDC shall transact business at its registered office approved by the CBN. Any BDC that operates outside its registered office shall be sanctioned.
Non-permissible activities apart from street trading included the engaging in off-shore business or maintaining foreign correspondence relationships, any trade related import activities and carrying on of capital market activities among others.
Central Bank of Nigeria
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This article was first published on 17th December 2015