CBN revokes licenses of 4,173 Bureaux De Change operators for non-compliance

he Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has taken a decisive action against 4,173 Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators, revoking their licenses for failing to adhere to regulatory provisions. This move comes as part of the CBN's efforts to maintain the integrity and stability of the foreign exchange market in Nigeria.

This development was disclosed in a statement on Friday March 1, 2024, by the bank’s Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Sidi Ali Hakama.

According to the apex bank, the move is part of efforts to restore confidence in the nation’s foreign exchange market.

Noting that the list of affected BDC operators is available on its website, the CBN said it is revising the regulatory and supervisory guidelines for Bureau de Change operations in Nigeria, adding that compliance with the new requirements will be mandatory for all stakeholders in the sector.

It stated that the action is an exercise of the powers conferred on it under the Bank and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020, Act No. 5, and the Revised Operational Guidelines for Bureaux De Change 2015 (the Guidelines).

These, according to the bank, include payment of all necessary fees, including licence renewal, within the stipulated period in line with Guidelines, rendition of returns in line with the Guidelines, and compliance with guidelines, directives and circulars of the CBN, particularly Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) and Counter-Proliferation Financing (CPF) regulations.

Nigeria’s Wobbling FX Market

Nigeria is battling rising inflation, food inflation, forex crisis, economic hardship and high cost of living occasioned by the removal of petrol subsidy, attracting protests in parts of the country.

The Nigerian naira has seen a dip in the last nine months since the President Bola Tinubu administration collapsed the foreign exchange window. The naira experienced an all-time low, falling from about N700/$1 last May to over N1500/$1 at the moment.

The authorities have since turned their focus to cryptocurrency websites, clamping down on them through telecommunication companies.

On Tuesday, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Olayemi Cardoso, said illicit flows in the form crypto exchanges passed through Binance.

“We are concerned that certain practices go on that indicate illicit flows going through a number of these entities [crypto platforms] and suspicious flows at best,” Cardoso told reporters at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting of the apex bank, the first since he assumed office in September 2023.

“In the case of Binance, in the last one year alone, $26bn has passed through Binance Nigeria from sources and users who we cannot adequately identify,” he added.

The apex bank chief said anti-corruption agencies, the police and the Office of the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, were co-ordinating an investigation into cryptocurrency exchanges.


Presidential spokesman, Bayo Onanuga, says if not stopped, cryptocurrency trading website Binance will destroy the Nigerian economy by arbitrarily fixing foreign exchange rate.

“If we don’t clamp down on Binance, Binance will destroy the economy of this country. They just fix the rate,” a displeased Onanuga said on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Wednesday, February 28, 2024.

“We have saboteurs. Look at what Binance is doing to our economy. That is why the government moved against Binance. Some people sit down using the cyberspace to dictate even our exchange rate, hijacking the role of the CBN.”

‘Black Market Illegal, Importers Profiteering’

The Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, further urged Nigerians to stop patronising the parallel market for FX rates, saying the website of the apex bank is the only legal platform.

“The parallel market is not the real gauge of Nigeria’s economic health. The parallel market is an illegal market.

“I don’t even know why Nigerians and the media are feeding on the parallel market. That is not where we should go; what’s the CBN rate? As at Friday, the rate for the dollar was about N1600.

“Even in the so-called parallel market, the exchange rate is stabilizing there and that is what this needs. Our economy is too much dollarised. Importers are looking at the exchange rate and using it to fix prices, some of them arbitrarily, some of them actually profiteering,” Onanuga stated.

According to him, once the CBN succeeds in stabilising the exchange rate, the prices of goods in the country will normalise. “Things are not going to get worse, they are going to get better in the next few weeks,” he noted. 
~Channels tv

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