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CBN Governor Advocates Stringent Regulations for Bureau De Change Operations

Olayemi Cardoso, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has  emphasized the need for more discerning oversight of Bureau De Change (BDC) operations, asserting that it should not be open to all.

He disclosed that the apex bank is formulating “strict regulations” to cleanse the market of arbitrage activities.

Speaking during the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja on Tuesday, Cardoso, who assumed office in September 2023, highlighted the challenges facing Nigeria, including rising inflation, food inflation, a forex crisis, economic hardship, and increased living costs resulting from the removal of petrol subsidy, triggering protests in various parts of the country.

The value of the naira has plummeted since the new administration floated the currency and unified exchange rate windows, dropping from over N700/$1 in May 2023 to over N1500/$1 presently. 

Despite these challenges, Cardoso affirmed the CBN’s commitment to establishing a “very aggressive regulatory environment” to curb arbitrage.

Pointing out the proliferation of BDCs, Cardoso expressed concern about their varied interests, stating that, “Too many people had gone into that sector.” 

He disclosed plans to introduce guidelines proposing a minimum share capital of half a billion naira for certain categories of BDCs in specific locations, and N2 billion for those operating nationwide.

The CBN governor also emphasized the importance of stringent regulations for potential BDC owners, stating that it should be for serious individuals genuinely committed to providing services for Nigerians, not for personal gain. 

Cardoso highlighted the deployment of technology for BDC operations, with the regulatory measures intended to increase competition, drive down prices, and ultimately benefit the Nigerian populace.

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