Bureau De Change (BDC) operators in the country have every reason to cheer up this quarter as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has approved an upward review of the trading margin, which is available to BDCs in the country.
According to the lenders’ bank, the BDC operators would now buy the United States dollar from the CBN at the rate of N357/$1 and sell at N360, thereby leaving them with a positive margin of N3.00 per dollar sold. The Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department at CBN, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, said the decision was aimed at giving BDCs a level playing field to enable them compete favourably with other authorized foreign exchange dealers.
Okorafor therefore advised BDC operators to abide by the new guidelines and not seek to exploit customers by selling above the N360 band, just as he warned that erring BDCs will be sanctioned in any case of infraction established against them. It will be recalled that the CBN, in March 2017, had released a Forex policy, under which it directed licensed BDCs in the country to purchase forex from it at the rate of N360 to a dollar, while selling same to customers at no more than N362/$1.
At the time of the directive in 2017, the aim of the CBN was to achieve convergence between the rates in the inter-bank window and that of the BDCs. With the rates in both windows now virtually converged, the objective of the Bank is to ensure a level playing field and sustain the level of liquidity in the forex market. Meanwhile, the CBN in its first sale of the month, on Monday, June 4, 2018, offered the sum of $100 million to dealers in the wholesale segment of the market to meet the requests of customers. Similarly, the Bank sold the sum of $55 million each to customers in the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) window as well as those in the invisibles segment.