As Bureau de Change (BDC) operators begin to fund their accounts in anticipation of dollar sales by the Central Bank of Nigeria on Monday, September 7, 2020, the foreign exchange traders have urged the apex bank to reconsider the advised rates.
The CBN sell dollars to the BDCs at a fixed rate of N384 to the dollar and they are expected to sell to their customers at N386 to the dollar.
However BDC operators said the profit margin was too low and would not be enough to cover their operating expenses.
Speaking at a webinar for members of the Association of Bureau de Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) on the resumption of foreign currency sales to BDCs; COVID-19 challenges, compliance and way forward, president of the association, Aminu Gwadabe said the major challenges that is being faced by its members is the small margin.
“The challenge that we are facing is the smaller margin. Right now, the parallel market is doing about N430 and our pegged rate is N386 to the dollar. So, we still see a gap between the advised exchange rate of N386 by the CBN and what is obtainable presently in the market.”
The current margin he said: “cannot cover our cost of operation. We are asking the CBN to please look at this and that review it for us.”
Gwadabe also urged the CBN to allow for the use of virtual documentation which he said would help in curbing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The challenge of COVID-19 is still with us and we are asking them to put a clause on the use of virtual identification of documents. What that means is I don’t need to see you as my customer, bringing your passport for me to look at, you can use WhatsApp, our platform or email soft copies of documents. That is what we are also requesting as part of measure to curb the spread of COVID-19.”
He however urged the members of the association to ensure compliance to all the rules guiding their businesses saying it is for the betterment of the economy and the country at large.
“Do not sell foreign exchange to unauthorised persons. Our members, in the past have been sanctioned for selling to an unauthorised buyers. You cannot sell dollars to someone that is importing goods of whatever form. As a BDC you are not allowed to sell to an importer. You can only sell to a traveler, payment of school fees, mortgage and medical. Anything outside this is serious infraction and would be met with a lot of penalties.