• Sunday, June 23, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

CBN bans street trading as naira falls under fresh pressure

CBN bans street trading as naira falls under fresh pressure

The Central Bank of Nigeria has put a stop to street trading by bureau de change operators citing the need to properly regulate the sector to support the naira.

“Street trading of foreign currencies is not allowed,” said Blaise Ijebor, CBN director for risk management. “We don’t want BDCs under the trees. They should be in offices, you walk into their office, change your currency and walk away,” he told a conference in Lagos on Thursday.

The CBN recently reviewed minimum capital requirements for Tier 1 BDC operators to N2 billion while for Tier 2 BDC operators is N500 million.

Read also: Borrowers face surge in interest payment after CBN’s rate hike

Ijebor said that the increase in capital was so that they have enough money to invest in the needed infrastructure to provide adequate services, and comply with regulations.

The naira on Thursday fell across foreign exchange (FX) markets, despite a 35.72 percent increase in dollar supply at the official market.

At the close of trading on Thursday, the naira lost 1.55 percent of its value, as the dollar was quoted at rate of N1,485.66, weaker than N1,462.59 quoted on Wednesday at the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), according to the market summary released by the FMDQ Securities Exchange Limited.

At the parallel market, the Naira on Friday depreciated further against the US currency, losing N15 of its value to close at N1,515.

“One of the things we want to do is make BDCs focus on the original conceived vision, which is to provide that market structure for people who need to do small small transactions and do not need to go to the banks to do those transactions,” he said.

He said to regulate an industry, people who are regulated need to have enough strength to respond to that transaction.

Read also: We’ll exercise caution in amending CBN Act – Sani Musa

“So we need BDC to come together to form bodies, that way regulation is not too extensive for them. They can receive regulation, apply to regulation, and everything will work better for everybody,” he said.

“And that is why we are increasing the capital so that they have enough money to invest in that infrastructure to provide this kind of service, or to full regulation,” Blaise said.