The naira has fallen to the dollar at the parallel market few hours after the Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday announced the discontinuity of forex supplies to the Bureau de Change Operators in the country.
The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, announced the end of forex sales and new licence approval after the Monetary Policy Committee two-day meeting in Abuja on Tuesday.
He expressed the MPC’s disappointment over their continuous abuse of the privilege.
At the end of the meeting, the MPC retained the lending rates and other parameters.
Reading the MPC’s decision, Emefiele said, “Based on the above considerations, the MPC made the decision to hold all policy parameters constant; believing that a hold stance will enable the continued permeation of current policy measures in supporting the recorded growth recovery and macro-economic stability.
“The committee thus decided by a unanimous vote to retain the Monetary Policy Rate at 11.5 per cent; retain the asymmetric corridor of +100/-700 basis points around the MPR; retain the CRR at 27.5 per cent; and retain the Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.”
Speaking on the decision to stop forex to the BDCs, Emefiele said the MPC noted with disappointment and great concerns that the BDCs had defeated their purpose of existence to provide forex to retail user, but instead, they had become wholesale and illegal dealers.
He said, “Operators in the BDC have not reciprocated the gesture to help maintain price stability in the market since the CBN had been selling forex to them.
“They have remained renegade and so greedy, recalcitrant with abnormally high profit from these sales while ordinary Nigerians have been left to feel the pain and therefore suffer.
“Given this rent seeking behaviour, it is not surprising that since the CBN began to sell forex to the BDCs, the number of operators has risen from mere 74 in 2005 to over 2,700 in 2016, and almost 5,500 BDCs as at today.
“In addition, the CBN constantly receives nothing less than 500 new applications from BDC licences every month, and we therefore begin to wonder, what is in this business that everybody must be in it?”
The BDCs, he observed, had continued to make huge profits while Nigerians suffered in pain.
He said the commercial banks would be monitored to provide forex for the legitimate use of Nigerians.
“The Central Bank will henceforth discontinue the sale of forex to Bureau de Change operators,” Emefiele said.