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|Reps Ask CBN To Suspend New N35m Capital Base For Bdcs by FrankC3: 12:33pm On Jun 27, 2014|
The House of Representatives on Thursday asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to immediately suspend the proposed N35 million capitalisation of bureaux de change (BDCs) in the country.
The resolution was passed after the debate on the motion titled, ‘Urgent need to halt the recent increase in capital base for bureaux de change by 25 percent’, sponsored by Ibrahim Shehu-Gusau.
While ruling, speaker Aminu Tambuwal directed the House Committee on Banking and Currency to invite the new CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, “for a full brief on the policy somersault.”
In his lead debate, Shehu-Gusau argued that the policy may lead to loss of thousands of jobs and impact negatively on the nation’s economy.
He said, “Bureau de change has provided millions of Nigerians job opportunities. I am worried that the new rule will send many BDC operators out of business. The increments are outrageous against the backdrop that the CBN will also reduce the amount of dollars being issued to BDCs from $50,000 to $15,000 per week.”
Other lawmakers, who spoke on the motion including Asita Honourable, Sunday Karibe, Uche Ekwunife expressed concern over the “policy somersault” and called for a “systematic review” of the policy.
Honourable, who called for reversal of the policy, described the hike as “super elitist and racist in nature.”
However, speaking in favour of the CBN directive, Victor Nwokolo argued that the proposed increase in the operating capital base of BDCs will strengthen foreign exchange transactions.
The apex bank had on June 22, 2014 released new guidelines for BDC operators and raised the operating capital base to N35 million from N10 million to check persistent depletion in the country’s external reserves and the financing of unauthorised transactions.
CBN further directed that all BDCs applying for the new licence are to pay an application fee of N100,000, a licensing fee of N1 million and an annual renewal fee of N250,000 on or before July 15, 2014.
The House also on Thursday called on the Federal Government to immortalise the late Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero, and Dora Akunyili, former NAFDAC boss and former minister of information and communications, who died early in the month.
In her lead debate, Uche Ekwunife, chairperson, House Committee on Environment, who raised the motion, asked the government to name the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) headquarters after Akunyili.
She said it was imperative to immortalise the late Akunyili, considering her contribution to the fight against fake drugs in Nigeria.
In a related development, the House has also called for the immortalisation of the late Emir of Kano, Ado Bayero, who died early this month.
Haruna Musa, who moved the motion, also urged the House to send a high powered delegation to Kano to condole with the late emir’s immediate family.
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