The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has announced that it will be releasing the complete list of licensed Bureau De Change (BDC) operators currently operating in the country. The disclosure came from Isa Abdulmumin, the Director of Corporate Communications at CBN, during a phone call with BusinessDay on Wednesday.
This announcement comes in the wake of reports circulating about the revocation of operating licenses of 2,698 BDCs. However, Abdulmumin clarified that these reports are false, and the licenses of the mentioned BDCs have not been withdrawn. Instead, the CBN is in the process of updating its register of approved BDC operators based on compliance criteria, obligations of BDCs’ return renditions, and annual fees payments.
At the end of 2021, the CBN published a list of approved BDCs, which included a total of 5,689 operators. However, the new list set to be released will reflect a reduction in the total number of approved BDCs to 2,991. It’s important to note that this reduction is not due to the revocation of licenses but rather an update in the register to ensure compliance and adherence to regulatory requirements.
Aminu Gwadabe, the National President of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), has described the reports of license revocation as “fake news” for the time being. He has urged BDC operators to comply with the necessary requirements to avoid potential sanctions and the possibility of their licenses being excluded.
The BDC sector plays a crucial role in Nigeria’s financial landscape, facilitating foreign exchange transactions for individuals and small businesses. By updating the list of licensed BDC operators, the CBN aims to maintain transparency and regulatory oversight in the foreign exchange market, ensuring that all operators adhere to the necessary rules and regulations.
The back story behind this move by the CBN likely stems from the need to streamline the BDC sector and enhance its efficiency. With a reduced number of approved BDCs, the CBN may be aiming to strengthen the overall supervision of these operators, making it easier to monitor compliance and address any potential risks or fraudulent activities.
Looking into the future, the release of the updated list may lead to increased scrutiny and compliance checks in the BDC industry. BDC operators will likely face stricter enforcement of regulatory requirements, and those who fail to comply may face serious consequences, including license suspension or revocation.
Moreover, the CBN’s ongoing efforts to update its register could be part of broader initiatives to stabilize Nigeria’s foreign exchange market, especially in light of external economic challenges. As the country navigates through various economic and monetary policy decisions, maintaining a well-regulated BDC sector will be vital in ensuring stability and confidence in the local currency.
As the day progresses, market participants and interested parties will be closely monitoring the CBN’s release of the updated list of licensed BDC operators. The impact of this move on the BDC industry, foreign exchange market, and the Nigerian economy, in general, will be subject to further analysis and discussion by financial experts and stakeholders.