CBN Temporarily Suspends BDCs Trading Over COVID-19

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In line with measures to halt the spread of the COVID-19, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has suspended the sale of forex to Bureaux De Change operators for two weeks. This followed a request by the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) to the CBN for the regulator to grant its members the two weeks break in view of the global pandemic and it takes effect from today.

In a notice to BDC operators and directors, ABCON President, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, said the CBN’s approval meant that sales of foreign exchange to BDCs has been suspended till further notice.

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Gwadabe also advised members of the public not to go into panic buying, hoarding as well as patronizing street traders, saying the CBN has enough resources to meet demand when the BDCs return to operations.

“This is to urgently bring to the notices of our members nationwide that following our letter of recommendations to the CBN to grant us market holiday on our bidding days as a proactive and preventive measures on the scourge of the novel COVID-19 epidemic and the ban on all air/land travels.

“The CBN has granted our request, effective tomorrow Friday, March 27, 2020, there shall be no market days henceforth for a tentative period of two weeks,” a statement quoted the ABCON boss to have explained.

Gwadabe advised members to observe strict guidelines on the preventive measures about the virus by wearing their mask, gloves, and frequent washing of hands. “We also want to advise members to strictly comply with their regulatory obligations on their daily operation. If you are trading be cautious not to fall under the hand of security agencies.

Don’t be involved in giving black market rates, street trading as doing so might create regulatory breach,” he said. Gwadabe said that CBN/NFIU are tracking large movements of funds within the financial sector and the need to be cautious. “Once again accept our continuous assurances on serving you betters as we continue to ponder on lasting solutions to the growing challenges facing our operations amongst them crowd management, expansion of scope of our buisiness, lesser penalties, automation, among others,” he stated.

Juliet Ekwebelam

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