The Civil Liberties Organization (CLO) has shown support to the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in banning sales of foreign exchange (forex) to Bureau de Change (BDCs) operators as measures aimed at easing pressures on the country’s depleting foreign reserves.
In a recent, media briefing held on Lagos, the CLO President, Comrade Igho Akeregha, who stated that rather than carrying out its stipulated duty in the economy, the BDC operators had over the years constituted themselves as conduit for money laundry.
Akeregba said, “An economy that encourages a BDC operator to obtain publicly earned funds at N190/U$ and then turns around to sell it at N270/U$ is an economy that is determined to remain backward.
“This huge window creates a huge disincentive to seek other avenues for sourcing forex by the operators and allows them to make humongous profits at the expense of Nigeria and Nigerians”.
Condemning the unwholesome activities of the BDC, which he said had jaundiced the nation’s economy, Akeregha said government must stop the funding of the BDC, saying that the operators should source their funds from autonomous sources as the development will encourage innovation, creativity and discipline within their operations.
“The President must stand with the people on this. This new CBN policy on forex, we believe is well-thought out and focused on extricating the nation from the stranglehold of a cabal that are bent on keeping the nation marooned in the cesspit of under-development impervious to the sensitivities of the nation and the suffering which their profiteering is capable of unleashing on the masses.
“With dwindling foreign exchange revenue accruing to the nation, it will be foolhardy to continue with a system that is clearly profligate and counter-productive”, he added.
The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, while announcing the suspension recently said that despite the fact that Nigeria was the only country in the world where a Central Bank sells dollars directly to BDCs; operators have not reciprocated that gesture to help maintain stability in the market.