The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it would resume the sales of Foreign Exchange to bureau-de-change (BDC) operators as soon as international flights resume.
The Apex bank’s Director of Corporate Communications, Mr. Isaac Okorafor, made this known yesterday. Because, according to him, BDC customers are mainly international travellers.
Okorafor said: “The customers of BDCs are largely travellers and when the federal government suspended international flights in order to contain the spread of the COVID-19, the BDCs requested that we grant them holidays as well.
“So, once the federal government or the Presidential Task Force (PTF) announces the resumption of international flights, we would resume forex sales to BDC,” he said.
There had been repeated calls on the CBN to provide dollars to BDCs in order to halt the slide of the Naira against the greenback on the parallel market. But it is now obvious the BDCs who according to the Apex bank called for the dollars sales holiday themselves, will not get dollars until October when international flights might resume. This is according to July 21, 2020, official tweet by the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika.
While the naira closed at N386 to a dollar on the investors and exporters window, it fell to as low as N470 to a dollar on the parallel market.
The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, recently said the period of the COVID-19 lockdown showed that some of those dealing in the parallel market were those involved in illegal businesses.
According to him, “There is a global lockdown right now, particularly on travels and airlines are not flying. So, there shouldn’t be any demand for forex in that market.
“Notwithstanding the fact that airlines are not flying and there is a lockdown, you still find that some people are dealing in that market. So, we are not going to be talking about the unification of our exchange rate around rates for people who are dealing in corrupt practices.
“Everybody who wants to buy or sell forex is allowed to deal through our NAFEX market. That is the market that is recognized and that is why we are saying unification is going to be around the NAFEX.”