By Francis Ogwo
About twenty one Bureau De Change (BDC) operators have been fined the sum of five million naira each by the Central Bank of Nigeria as penalty for offences against their operational guidelines.
Recall that the apex bank had warned that it would eliminate foreign exchange abuse and other practices by dealers, which have had negative effects on the economy and commerce.
The CBN in a circular issued on Saturday listed the offending operators directing them to pay the five million naira fine immediately.
The bank had in September written through its Director, Trade and Exchange Department, Dr O. S. Nnaji, to all licensed operators in a circular titled ‘Destination payment for all Forms M, Letters of Credit and other forms of payment’.
Nnaji said, “Authorised dealers are hereby directed to desist from opening of Form M whose payments are routed through a buying company/agent or any other third parties.
“Accordingly, all authorised dealers are hereby requested to only open Form M for Letters of Credit, bills for collection and other forms of payment in favour of the ultimate supplier of the product or service. The directive is with immediate effect.”
According to Nnaji, the directive was in line with the Central Banks effort in ensuring that the country’s foreign exchange resources ad prudently used and eradication of over-invoicing, transfer pricing, double handling charges, and avoidable costs, which have impacted negatively on the consuming Nigerians.
The apex bank had revealed that plans were underway towards introducing a product price verification mechanism to forestall over-pricing and/or mispricing of goods and services imported into the country.
This is with the usage of mechanism by dealers to verify quoted prices before Forms M are approved.