News

BDC operators suspend service in Abuja over ‘high FX rate’

Currency traders, popularly known as Bureau De Change (BDC)
operators, have suspended their services in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital territory.

 

The “no sales policy” will span two days — Thursday and
Friday.

 

The withdrawal of service comes barely 24 hours after the Central
Bank of Nigeria (CBN) unveiled new measures to help banks prevent foreign
exchange (FX) losses due to the volatility of the FX market.

 

Although it is unclear if the two events are connected, a
BDC trader, who confirmed the development, said they stopped working due to the
free fall of the naira against the dollar.

 

It was also learnt that Abdulahi Dauran, the chairman of the
Association of Bureau De Change Abuja chapter, issued the directive to stop
sales as the exchange rates in both the official and parallel markets have
become unfavourable.

 

“Quite simply, we want to lower the price of the dollar
across the entire national spectrum,” another trader told TheCable.

 

Despite the government efforts to increase liquidity in the
FX market, the naira has continued to weaken to unprecedented lows against the
greenback.

 

The local currency depreciated to N1,482 against the dollar
at the official window, also known as the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange
Market (NAFEM), on Tuesday.

 

The rate, for the second time in nine years, surpassed the
value of the parallel market which was quoted at N1,470 at the close of the
market on the same day.

 

‘THOSE STOPPING SALES
ARE NOT OUR MEMBERS’

 

On Wednesday, the naira extended its poor performance,
crossing the N1,500 mark at the parallel section of the FX market.

 

The value of the naira fell to N1,530 against the dollar —
an all-time low in the black market.

 

Speaking on the issue, Aminu Gwadabe, the president of the
Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) said the
suspension of service is not the position of his association.

 

Asked if the traders ceasing operations are not members of
ABCON, he said: “Yes, we have our National executive council and it is only
that central organ of the association that can issue such directive and as a
professional association and complaints institution we believed in
collaboration and engagements which is presently on going.”

 

“We are professional and regulated institutions. But [are]
continuing engagements with relevant agencies.”

 

Gwadabe stressed that many currency traders are not members
of ABCON.

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