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CBN directs all BDCs to reapply for new licences, releases new guidelines for Bureaux De Change

The Central Bank of Nigeria has directed all Bureaux De Change operators in Nigeria to reapply for new licences as the bank released the approved guidelines for the operations of BDCs across the country.

The revised guideline, released on Wednesday and signed by the apex bank’s Director Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Haruna Mustafa, further directed all BDCs to meet all new regulatory requirements within the next six months.

Categories of licence

The new regulatory requirements, obtained by Arbiterz, set out two licence categories for BDC operations in the country: Tier-1 and Tier-2.

The guideline mandates Tier-1 BDCs to have a minimum capital base of N2 billion. On the other hand, the guideline requires Tier-2 BDCs to have a minimum capital base of N500 million.

Also Read: CBN bans street trading of forex

Furthermore, the apex bank sets the application fee for Tier-1 licence at N1 million and that of Tier-2 at N250,000. It also sets licence fees for Tier-1 and Tier-2 BDCs at N5 million and N2 million respectively. All fees are non-refundable.

The bank allows Tier-1 BDCs to operate across the 36 states of the country and the Federal Capital Territory and open franchises all over the country subject to the approval of the CBN. It, however, permits Tier-2 BDCs to operate only in one state of the federation or the FCT, with no more than five branches in a state of operation, subject to the written approval of the CBN.

Also Read: “CBN Forex Rate is a Joke”: Why the Black Market Is Popular

According to the guideline, Bureau De Change must meet the requirements of the Tier of licence they are applying for within the next six months.

“All existing BDCs shall: Re-apply for a new licence according to any of the Tiers or licence category of their choice as provided in the Guidelines; meet the minimum capital requirements for the licence category applied for within six (6) months from the effective date of the Guidelines,” the guideline stated.

Conditions for the sale of forex

Listing the conditions for the sale of forex, the apex bank stated that the purpose of the sale shall be for

  • Personal Travel Allowance (PTA).
  • Business Travel Allowance (BTA), provided that a person who receives BTA on behalf of a non-individual entity shall not be entitled to PTA for the same trip.
  • Payment of overseas medical bills.
  • Payment of school fees abroad.
  • Payment of professional examination and annual subscription fees.
  • Repurchase of unused Naira from a non-resident. For this purpose, repurchase shall only occur upon presentation of the receipt issued at the point of purchase of the Naira.

The bank added that “All applications for PTA or BTA shall be through the CBN’s Trade Monitoring System (TRMS).

“A beneficiary of BTA or PTA may receive up to 25 per cent of the foreign currency in cash, while at least 75 per cent shall be transferred to the customer’s prepaid card.

“Payments for all sales of foreign exchange by BDCs shall be by transfer to the BDC’s Naira account.

“A beneficiary of BTA or PTA of the equivalent of USD500 or less may receive his/her BTA or PTA in cash.”

Samuel Bolaji

Samuel Bolaji holds a Master of Letters in Publishing Studies from the University of Stirling, Scotland, United Kingdom, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He is an experienced researcher, multimedia journalist, writer, and Editor. He is currently the Editor of Arbiterz.

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