CBN Insists FX Sales to BDCs Not Sustainable, Says Emefiele Won’t Resign

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By Dipo Olowookere

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has again defended its decision to stop the sale of foreign exchange (FX) to Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators on July 27, 2021, maintaining that it was the right step.

The Director of Corporate Communications at the CBN, Mr Osita Nwanisobi, while addressing reporters on Monday in Abuja, said the apex bank took the action because it was not sustainable in the long run.

“Such a practice was not sustainable in the long run, considering that many of the BDCs had since deviated from the purpose for which they were issued licenses in the first instance,” he explained to newsmen.

Speaking further, the central bank’s image-maker emphasised that, “The rate in the CBN-unrecognised parallel market was not the reference rate of the Naira.

“So, Nigerians should be wary of the activities of speculators who sought to manipulate the market for unpatriotic reasons.”

Mr Nwanisobi faulted calls from different quarters for the resignation of the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, saying those who want to continue to milk the country dry were behind the development.

Some Nigerians had asked the CBN chief to resign from office following the worsening decline in the value of the local currency at the market, blaming his policies for this.

But Mr Nwanisobi disagreed with them, stressing that “those behind such calls were only pursuing their selfish agenda fuelled by those who had long benefitted from rent-seeking practices in the parallel forex market.”

He assured Nigerians of the CBN’s commitment to meeting the forex requests of travellers with legitimate needs as they relate to travel allowances, payment of tuition and medical fees, among other invisibles, emphasising that there was enough supply of FX to the banks to meet legitimate demands from customers.

According to him, no customer in need of foreign currencies for genuine transactions would be turned back by their banks but said even if such happens, customers can report the bank through the advertised channels.

The CBN spokesman appealed to the banking public to disregard claims aimed at impugning the reputation of the apex bank, noting that the banking sector regulator remains committed to carrying out its mandate for the good of the Nigerian people.

He further said the central bank would not be distracted in its mandate by yielding to selfish tendencies, stressing that the CBN was in control of the situation.

On Tuesday, the Naira appreciated against the United States Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the FX market by 40 kobo or 0.10 per cent to trade at N413.28/$1 in contrast to N413.68/$1 it traded on Monday.

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