Naira tumbles to 900/$, CBN vows BDC operators clampdown

Naira tumbles to 900/$, CBN vows BDC operators clampdown

The naira tumbled against the United States dollar at the parallel market on Wednesday, closing at 900/dollar.

This came barely two weeks after the local currency was sold 960/dollar at the black market.

The naira, which had gained in recent days, returned to a downward trend as the shortage of the greenback hit the black market again.

The local currency had traded between 850/dollar and 880/dollar earlier this week.

On Wednesday, the naira fell further at the parallel market, while it also fell on the Investor & Exporter window to 773.42/$. The local currency had closed at 757.10/$ at the I&E Window on Tuesday

Bureau De Change operators in Lagos, Kano Abuja and airports told the dollar between 895/dollar and 905/dollar on Wednesday.

A BDC operator at the Lagos airport, who simply identified himself as Sanusi Ibrahim told The PUNCH that “We bought and sold the naira today at 890/$ and N900/$.”

At the Central Business District in Abuja, a BDC operator, Yusuf Kareem, said, “The dollar is still scarce. We sold for N900 today.”

At the Allen Avenue Ikeja, Lagos, Alhaji Gambo Aliu, a currency dealer said he told the greenback at 905/dollar.

As naira continued to defy efforts to tame its slide, the Central Bank of Nigeria has threatened to revoke operating the licences of BDCs who violated its rules.

The President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria, Aminu Gwadabe, confirmed this to The PUNCH, after a sensitisation engagement with BDC operators.

“At a sensitisation engagement between the CBN and our compliance officers across the zones, the apex bank reiterated that by 31st of August, 2023, any operator that breaches its circular on the allowable margin of -2.5 per cent and +2.5 per cent on average weighted rate of I&E closing rate, rendition of returns and payment of penalties, risks the revocation of the operating licence,” he said.

On Friday, the apex bank announced operational mechanism for the BDCs to trade foreign currencies at similar rate obtainable on the Investor & Exporter forex window.

It gave the directive to BDCs  in a circular dated August 17, 2023, and titled, ‘Operational mechanism for Bureau de Change operations in Nigeria.’

It read in part, “The spread on buying and selling by BDC operators shall be within an allowable limit of -2.5 per cent to +2.5 per cent of the Nigerian exchange market window weighted average rate of the previous day.

“Mandatory rendition by BDC operators of the statutory periodic reports (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly), on the financial institution forex rendition system which has been upgraded to meet operators’ requirements.”

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