Port Harcourt — Bureau De Change operators in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, have lamented over the directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN to ban the sale of foreign exchange in the parallel market.
Recall that the CBN recently announced that it has ended the sales of forex to Bureau De Change operators, saying that the parallel market has become a conduit for illicit forex flows and graft.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed that the bank will also no longer process applications for BDC licences in the country.
Emefiele said weekly sales of foreign exchange by the CBN will henceforth go directly to commercial banks, adding that the bank has retained its benchmark policy rate.
Reacting on the development, BDC operators in Port Harcourt, say the new policy will not only kill the BDC industry, but the livelihoods of many Nigerians, especially northerners were at stake.
A BDC operator, who gave his name as Taminu Umar, lamented that buying and selling of foreign currencies has been his only source of livelihoods for over 20years.
Taminu noted that the price of the.United States dollars had jumped from N500 to N525 per $1, as a result of the ban on sale of forex to BDC operators.
“CBN’s new policy on USD will eventually kill the BDC industry (kasuwan ‘yan chanji) in Nigeria.
“The livelihood of many Northern rich men is at stake. The up coming days in our polity will be interesting.”
Similarly, another BDC operator, Abdullahi Sule said, “The ban by CBN will kill us all. It’s like taking food out of our mouths. So what do they want us to be doing now? BDC has been our source of livelihoods for years.”
However, for another BDC operator, Yakubu Ahmed, the new policy will drive him back into farming.
“if CBN doesn’t want us to change
Dollars again, i will go back to farm. I am from Kebbi state and i have a farm there. I will go into rice farming. Rice is even an hot cake now.
“I left farming into BDC because farming was not bringing me money, but with the price of rice right now in the market, I won’t mind going back to farm.”