By Babajide Komolafe
The Association ofÂ Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has requested an extension of the deadline for application of bureaux de change (BDCs) licence.
It would be recalled that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently called for application for license for class â€œAâ€ and â€œBâ€ BDCs and gave two weeks for interested investors to meet the plethora of requirements.
Investigation, however revealed that the ABCON, which is the umbrella body of BDCs in the country, has written to the apex bank asking it to extend the deadline.
Close CBN sources who confirmed this disclosed that the ABCON asked the apex bank for extension to four weeks for investors to submit their applications.
The request it was gathered, was based on the fact that it is would be practically difficult for interested investors to meet the various requirement within the two weeks deadline.
The Association, it was also gathered, called for a water tight licensing procedure to check influx of unprofessional operators who can abuse the system.It was gathered that the apex bank is disposed to granting the request of the Association by extending the deadline.
Though the two weeks deadline has elapsed, sources close to the apex bank said that it might be extended till end of April.
It would be recalled that February last year, the CBN created two categories of BDCs namely class â€œAâ€ and class â€œBâ€ BDCs.The initial minimum paid up capital for class A BDCs was N500 million but was later reduced to N250 million.
Class â€˜Aâ€™ BDCs have a wider scope of operations which include; prepared cards; travellersâ€™ cheques; authority to import forex (subject to compliance with anti-money laundering requirements) and money transfer.
They must also have mandatory deposit with the CBN of $200,000 00 non- interest bearing and non-refundable application fee of N100,000.
Others are licensing fee of N1 million; annual renewal fee of N250,000 and minimum IT infrastructure that enables the BDC to make daily returns to CBN.