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CBN Slams N2bn Licence Fee On Bureau De Change Over Forex Crisis

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has implemented strict measures on Bureau De Change (BDCs) in an effort to address the country’s forex crisis.
As the economic crisis deepened, the naira reached an unprecedented low of N2,000 against the dollar.

Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, the National Security Adviser, instructed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Department of State Services (DSS), and other security agencies to take action against currency speculators in the forex market.

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This directive led to nationwide raids on BDCs and the apprehension of illicit operators.

On Friday, the Financial Policy and Regulation Department of the central bank issued a new set of guidelines to all BDC operators and stakeholders in the financial sector.

According to the guidelines, the capital required for the license of BDCs in the Tier 1 category is N2 billion, while that of Tier 2 is N500 million.

Other guidelines are:
– Non-Eligible Promoters: Entities like banks, government agencies, and NGOs are not allowed to have ownership stakes in BDCs.

– Permissible Activities: BDCs can buy and sell foreign currencies, issue prepaid cards, serve as cash points for money transfer operators, etc. They cannot take deposits, grant loans, deal in gold or engage in capital market activities.

– Sources of Foreign Currencies: BDCs can source forex from authorized dealers, travelers, hotels, embassies etc. Large transactions above $10,000 require a declaration of source.

– Sale of Foreign Currencies: BDCs can sell forex for travel, medical bills, school fees etc up to specified limits per customer annually. At least 75% of sale must be via transfer, 25% can be cash.

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– Categories of BDCs: There are 2 tiers of BDCs – Tier 1 with national presence, branches and franchises; Tier 2 is restricted to 1 state with max 3 locations.

– Operations: Must verify customer identity, keep transaction records, connect to CBN systems, display rates clearly etc.

– Supervision: Specified regulatory returns must be rendered, records available for inspection, compliance with guidelines required.

– Franchising Standards: Standards specified for Tier 1 BDCs appointing franchises regarding policy, monitoring, branding etc.

– Prudential Requirements: Specified limits on open position, fixed assets, borrowings, dividend payment etc.

– AML/CFT Requirements: Must comply with AML/CFT regulations on policies, monitoring, reporting etc.

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Ojogwu Godwin Chukwudi hailed from Delta State. A young talented personality, Alumnus of Delta State university,Abraka Studied Library and information science. He is an intellectual cyber communicator expert and a prolific blogger professional.

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