The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has suspended commercial banks in Nigeria except First Bank from selling foreign exchange directly to Bureaux De Change operators following their failure to comply with the July 22, 2016, directive to sell inflows from International Money Transfer Operators (IMTO) to BDC.
The CBN Wednesday also suspended 195 BDCs from the market following their failure to renew their operating licenses.
Banking sources said a circular on the development was sent to the banks on Wednesday.
The CBN has instead directed the agent banks to sell forex proceeds from diaspora remittances to Travelex, who will then sell directly to the BDC.
CBN acted following the banks’ lackadaisical stance on the directive to deal directly with the BDCs. Instead the banks have been sitting on the forex and doing deals with the funds.
The naira has maintained a steady rise at parallel market closing at N467 from over N500 high in the last week in the parallel market since Travelex commenced the distribution of $15, 000 weekly to BDCs from diaspora remittances as directed by the CBN. Travelex has also commenced the limited sale of forex directly to travelers who qualify.
The naira closed at N304.50 against the US Dollars at the interbank market.
Foreign exchange remittances by the diaspora is believed to be around $22 billion annually.
Nigeria has witnessed shortages in foreign exchange because of the crash in the price of crude, its main forex earner.