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Licence renewal: BDCs seek extension of January deadline

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The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria, the umbrella body of over 3,500 BDC operators licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria in the country, has called on the regulator to extend the January 31 deadline set for the renewal of operating licence of its members to March 31, 2018.

This was part of the resolution made at the end of a meeting held by members of the association in Lagos on Wednesday.

The meeting, which had in attendance members of ABCON across the country, had as part of its resolution a call on the CBN to review the exchange rate band for sale of the dollar to the BDCs from 360/dollar.

The Acting President, ABCON, Aminu Gwadabe, who was represented by the National Treasurer, Gbadamosi Moh-Murtala, told reporters after the meeting that the leadership of the association would meet the CBN on Friday to discuss the resolutions of the meeting.

Gwadabe said the association would make the CBN officials understand the need to establish additional foreign exchange disbursement centres in Port Harcourt, Ibadan and other parts of the country, for the sake of security of lives of its members.

According to the ABCON president, members have registered their complaints over persistent business losses being recorded as a result of the CBN’s decision to sell forex to BDCs at 360/dollar.

He said the situation had become unbearable and, as such, the executive committee members would be taking up the matter with the CBN in the proposed meeting on Friday.

Gwadabe said, “We want the CBN to review the BDC rate to ensure that currency speculators do not return to the market. Remember the BDCs buy dollar at N360/$1 from the International Money Transfer Operators

“Many forex users prefer to buy at the parallel market instead of the BDCs because there are no longer rate gaps. They prefer the parallel market where no single documentations required. That is why we are calling on the CBN to review the rate band for the BDCs.”

Gwadabe said the challenges faced by the BDCs, if not checked, would trigger a liquidity crisis that might derail the ongoing recovery of the naira against the dollar.

According to him, members of ABCON have appealed to the CBN to extend the January 31 deadline set for the payment of 250,000 renewal licence.

He said a request to reduce the amount would also be presented to the CBN officials.

He said, “Part of the resolutions of the meeting is to urge the CBN to get our automation system completed on or before March. This shall be discussed at the meeting as well.

“We the BDCs have pledged to continue to work with the CBN to achieve naira stability, and we will not renege in this promise.”

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