Forex Ban: BDC Operators to Collect Their Licensing Fee, N35million Deposit From CBN

Forex Ban: BDC Operators to Collect Their Licensing Fee, N35million Deposit From CBN

  • Payment received for operational license and capital deposits for bureau de change operations will be refunded upon request
  • The Central Bank of Nigeria said the promoters of bureau de change who have pending applications will not be allowed to operate
  • Licensing fee is N1 million and each of the bureaus de change promoters also deposits N35 million to the financial regulator

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Capital deposits and licensing fees (where applicable) will be returned to persons who have applied for Bureau de Change (BDC) operators licences.

This follows the ban placed on the operators by the Central Bank of Nigeria, which stated that it will stop providing foreign exchange for the parallel market.

The capital deposit is worth N35 million, while the payment of licensing fee is about N1 million. The financial regulator said those with pending applications for BDC operation at the CBN should request for a refund in writing.

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BDC operators will be paid the license fee for operation and given their capital deposits
Naira and dollar exchange. Photo: PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP
Source: Getty Images

What is the procedure for BDC operators to request license refund?

According to a statement released by Ibrahim Tukur, director of the financial policy and regulation department at CBN, on Wednesday, the following was stated as procedure:

“The requests should be accompanied with the following documents: (a) Telex copy of the capital deposit of N35 million.
“(b) Account details for the refund, which should be the same as the account from which the capital deposit originated, including the: (i) Bank name (ii) Account name (iii) Account number.
“(c) Copy of the bank draft/telex for payment of licensing fee of N1 million (if any).
“Hardcopy of the request in ‘1’ above should be submitted to CBN Head Office, Central Business District, Abuja or CBN Head Office Annex, Tinubu Square, Lagos in an envelope clearly marked “Refund of BDC Capital Deposit” at its top left corner.
“Softcopy of the request in ‘1’ above may be sent in advance of the hard copy to”

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Why did the CBN ban Nigeria's bureau de change?

It had been reported that the governor of CBN, Godwin Emefiele, made it known that the BDC operators are involved in financial infractions.

They were accused of aiding money laundering activities in Nigeria, and also provide illegal forex channels for foreign companies and embassies to source for foreign exchange.

Emefiele said the bureau de change have switched from their focus of establishment to conducting illegal business with corrupt persons who don't want their financial activities detected by the regulated system.

CBN criticised for banning bureau de change

The former deputy governor, Obadiah Mailafia, criticised the apex bank for banning the BDC operators, stating that it will create pressure on the naira.

Mailafia stated that the ban will enable banks to shortage Nigerians in need of dollars as the central bank didn't state the rate that lenders should sell forex.

He berated the decision, noting that banks could hoard forex for their personal use while causing scarcity that will further weaken naira.


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