Some Bureau De Change operators selling foreign currencies above the stipulated limit were arrested by security agencies, in both Lagos and Ikeja yesterday.
While speaking with the security agencies, National Mirror learnt that those that were arrested would be prosecuted in order to discourage others from flouting the FX regulations against the federal government’s objectives.
Reacting to the arrest of the yet-to-be disclosed operators, President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON), Mallam Aminu Gwadabe, said that his members had pledged to cooperate with the government.
He explained: “We were told to follow the rules and make sure we cooperate with them. We have agreed to carry our members along on that, in ensuring that compliance is strictly observed. We have been sensitising our members and we have been holding meetings.
“We want to have same regulation that is happening within the banking industry for BDCs. If you go to any bank, you see the FX rates written boldly. So, we have promised the government that we would adhere to the rules. So, we are looking at a rate between N390/$ and N400/$. That is, we buy at N390/$ and sell at N400 to retail customers.”
He said the initiative was to make the parallel market unattractive.
“We already have a Rate Regulation Committee and we have an Enforcement and Surveillance Committee as well as a Sensitisation Committee. So, our business is now under strict surveillance by the security agencies and we have to protect it,” Gwadabe said.
Meanwhile, the Naira reacted positively to the development on the parallel market as it appreciated to N458 the dollar, which is stronger than the N461 to the dollar it closed the previous day.
On the interbank FX market, the spot rate of the Naira closed at N306.36 to the dollar, just as it went for N380 to the dollar on the BDC segment.
Although the market has been bearish in the past six trading days, operators said the surprising victory of Trump must have further dampened investors’ confidence.
“We acknowledge the possibility that the surprise victory of Trump in the US presidential election could potentially further dampen sentiments, as investors weigh the potential impact on the country given the close trade relationship between Nigeria and the US,” analysts at Meristem Securities Limited.