The Central Bank of Nigeria issued new operational licences to 366 Bureau De Change operators between January 2018 and May 31, 2018, a new report by the apex bank indicated.
The report on the ‘Functions, operational guidelines and compliance for BDC operations in Nigeria’ was prepared by the Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department of the CBN.
With the newly licensed operators, it said the number of registered BDCs had thus risen from 3,740 to 4,106.
The report, obtained on Monday by our correspondent, read in part, “Total number of licensed BDCs as of 31st May, 2018 stood at 4,106. It was 3,740 as of 31st December, 2017, signifying an increase of 366.”
According to the report, Lagos has the highest number of the BDCs with 2,123, followed by Kano, Abuja and Anambra states with 806, 745 and 171, respectively.
Only 261 BDCs were registered in the remaining states, according to the report.
The CBN noted that several unlicensed BDCs were still operating illegally on the black market.
As part of its regulatory duties, it said that it would continue to ensure effective supervision and apply sanctions on BDCs that contravened the laws.
It stated that the BDC subsector remained a critical segment of the foreign exchange market which had served as a veritable tool for contemporary exchange rate management in Nigeria.
The report stated, “The CBN will continue to play its statutory and interventionist role to promote the orderly growth, development and sustainability of the sector, through effective supervision and robust enforcement of compliance with applicable extant laws and regulations.
“In line with its zero-tolerance policy, the CBN will continue to impose appropriate sanctions against regulatory breaches including the revocation of licences of errant BDCs.”
It stated that there was a need for the Association of Bureaux de Change Operators of Nigeria to check the illegal activities of street traders.
The CBN urged ABCON to ensure more effective self regulation, develop and implement a code of conduct for members to promote ethical practices and transparency in the industry.
The CBN also stated that there was a need for regular engagement between the CBN and ABCON to discuss and address issues/challenges affecting the sector.
According to the regulator, there is a need for more intelligence-led and risk-based supervision of the BDCs.(Punch)