07 January 2015, Lagos – Bureaux de Change operators in the country will pay about N750 million to the Central Bank of Nigeria to renew the operating license for 2015.
Last year, the CBN, in addition to increasing the minimum capital requirement and mandatory caution deposits of BDCs, increased the licensing renewal fees of BDCs to N250, 000 from N10, 000. Consequently, the three million BDCs that met the new minimum requirement have to pay N250,000, hence a total of N750 million to the CBN before the January 31st deadline.
Meanwhile a BDC operator, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe has called for a reversal of the increase in the license renewal fees, saying it is unfair for the CBN to be collecting such amount of money from BDCs.
Gwadabe who is the Chief Executive Officer of Sabil BDC, Lagos, said, “The review of the CBN licences fees from N10, 000 to N250, 000 in July last year will give the CBN a large chunk of over N750 million to the non profit making institution .This I believe will further deepen the increasing difficulties we the genuine operators are currently facing under different CBN policy summersaults. Remember that BDCs operators have a compulsory deposit of over N100 billion with the CBN since July last year three percent saving interest.
“I sincerely urge the management of the CBN to review the renewal fee from N250, 000 to the initial N10, 000 naira to save our business from eminent collapse.
This has become very urgent and necessary as the CBN have no plan in the nearest future to see to the flight of BDCs operators.”
In a statement on June 23rd last year announcing the increase in minimum capital requirement to N35 million from N10 million, the CBN said “The CBN’s expectation is to have BDCs that are properly structured, effectively regulated, and well-capitalised to meet the objectives for which operators are licensed.
In particular, the CBN envisages the following: The emergence of well-capitalised and structured entities that can effectively perform the roles of Bureau De Change in the economy; Partnership between BDCs and renowned companies engaged in inward and outward money transfers in Nigeria.
It is in expectation of this collaboration that the CBN as at 18 June 2014 approved the “Guidelines for International Money Transfer Services in Nigeria”. Under the Guidelines, Western Union, Monegram and RIA Financial Services have been authorised to carry out inward and outward money transfer services in Nigeria.
And creation of robust and sustainable business franchises that are not dependent on rent-seeking activities but are properly situated to compete in the foreign exchange market, and deliver superior values and returns.”
*Babajide Komolafe – Vanguard