Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has stated that the introduction of the use of the Bank Verification Number, BVN, as a requisite for the purchase of foreign currency from the Bureau D’ Change, BDC, segment of the market has compelled the operators to comply with the earlier directive on the maximum amount which they could sell to low forex end users for travel allowances, medicals, school fees, etc.
Investigations over the weekend indicated that most of the BDC operators are now left with large volume of unsold dollar cash, most of which they bought from the CBN official window.
The operators are blaming the BVN requirement as mainly responsible for their inability to sell.
While customers shun the BDCs, they preffer to patronise the parallel market which pushed the rate at the parallel market to above N225 as at last week.
When contacted on the recent development in the BDC segment of the foreign exchange market, the spokesman of the CBN, Mallam Ibrahim Mu’azu discountenanced the assertion that introduction of the BVN as a requirement for the sale of foreign exchange was responsible for the low patronage.
He described such assertion “as just a ploy to arm-twist or blackmail the CBN into reversing the directive on BVN requirement.”
Mu’azu further noted that BDCs were licenced to service the low end users whose demand fall between $4,000 and $5,000 and below as Basic Travel Allowance, BTA, or Personal Travel Allowance, PTA, as the case may be.
However, the BDC operators have engaged in bulk sales of foreign currency over the years to those who carry the foreign currencies across the borders.
Hence the introduction of the BVN as a mandatory requirement for purchasing foreign currencies from the BDCs has checked that flagrant disobedience of regulations guiding their operations, he averred.
Speaking further, Mallam Mu’azu noted that those with legitimate demand for foreign exchange needed not fear as the BVN requirement was to facilitate the enforcement of authorised limits of sales and spread to end users, and reduce the incidence of multiple purchases, round tripping and illicit transfer of funds.
The CBN spokesman also allayed the fear of customers in terms of compromising part of their banking information, stating that BVN was just a unique identification number which is grossly inadequate to provide access to customers’ accounts.

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