Business has taken on a sour note for Bureau de Change operators across the country as the Central Bank of Nigeria policy has succeeded in pushing customers to the commercial banks.
Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) President Aminu Gwadabe says the development is caused mainly due to the cheaper rate banks are able to buy dollar from the CBN. These savings are passed on to the customers.
Currently banks are selling to customers at N360 to $1 while BDC operators are selling at N362 to $1.
Gwadabe told The Nation, the banks enjoy a large customer base with the customers having their accounts debited to cover the cost of purchase. Such convenience plus a lower rate put the banks at an advantage position to attract more customers than BDCs, he said.
He lamented that BDCs are not only buying at exorbitant rate, but also sell at a rate higher than that of the banks, hence creating low patronage for the operators.
Gwadabe advised the CBN to review the rate at which the dollar is sold to the BDCs to boost the recovery of the naira against dollar. The naira has remained at N368/$1 at the parallel market in the last one week, a major improvement from N520/$1 it exchanged last February.
He said the success recorded by the CBN in stabilising the naira was largely contributed by the BDCs, which remain backbone of the retail forex segment of the economy. “The CBN should be proactive enough to quickly review the BDC buying rate to ensure effective competition among all the stakeholders.
There is no need to give the banks undue advantage over the BDCs as is currently the case based on the level of disparity seen in the dollar buying rate by both sectors. Nothing stops the CBN from ensuring that both the banks and BDCs buy dollars at same rate,” he stressed.