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COVID-19: CBN suspends forex sales, grants two weeks market holidays to BDCs

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.as ABCON advises forex users to shun street traders

By Peter Egwuatu

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The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN has suspended the issuance of Foreign Exchange, forex and granted a two week market holidays to the Bureaux De Change, BDC operators.

This followed a request by the Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria to the CBN for the regulator to grant it market holidays given the ongoing challenges faced in local and global economies due to the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID -19) pandemic.

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 is now suspended till further notice.

Gwadabe also advised the public not to go into panic buying, hoarding and patronising the street traders as the CBN has enough reserves to sustain supplies when the BDCs return to operations.

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The CBN had also acknowledged the contributions of BDCs in promoting a stable exchange rate in recent months despite challenging circumstances facing the Forex market due to a drop in crude oil prices.

“ This is to urgently bring to the notices of our members nationwide that following our letter of recommendations to the CBN to grant us a market holiday on our bidding days as a proactive and preventive measure on the scourge of the novel COVID 19 epidemic and the ban on all Air/land travels. The CBN has granted our request, effective today (Friday) March 27, 2020, there shall be no market days henceforth for a tentative period of two weeks”.

Gwadabe advised members to observe strict guidelines on the preventive measures on the dangers of the COVID 19, wear 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/ Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, 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 the scope of our business, lesser penalties, automation, among others,” he stated.


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