Monday, January 11, 2016 7:09 pm
*Banks can now take dollar deposits from customers, CBN says
Nigeria’s central bank governor said on Monday that it would halt dollar sales to retail bureaux de change operators and allow commercial banks to accept dollar deposits.
“The Bank would henceforth discontinue its sales of foreign exchange to BDCs (bureaux de change). Operators in this segment of the market would now need to source their foreign exchange from autonomous source,” central bank governor Godwin Emefiele told a press conference.
“The Bank would now permit commercial banks … to begin accepting cash deposits of foreign exchange from their customers.”
The immediate impact of the measure was that Nigeria’s naira currency was quoted at a record low of 282 per dollar on the unofficial market.
The currency, which is pegged at around 198 to the dollar on the official interbank market, was quoted at 277 in early trades on Monday, before the central bank’s announcement.
The unofficial market accounts for less than 5 percent of total dollar trades in Nigeria.
“95 percent of BDCs depend on the central bank window for dollars,” Aminu Gwadabe, president of the bureaux de change association said.