By Amara Christa
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has suspended sales of foreign exchange to operators of Bureau de Change until the crisis induced by novel coronavirus abated.
In a response to a request by Association of Bureau de Change Operators and signed by A.S Jibrin on behalf of the director, trade and exchange department, CBN said: “based on your recommendations, sales of foreign currency to members of ABCON is hereby suspended until further notice.”
The association had requested the apex ban through a “Letter of Recommendation to Declare Market Holiday on Our Weekly Bidding Pending the Reopening of Our Nation’s Borders and the Control of COVID-19.”
CBN explained: “It is on record that the outbreak of the coronavirus has disrupted socio-economic activities not only in Nigeria but across the world.
“The situation is further worsened with the crash of crude oil prices in the international market with its attendant effect on economic activities.”
It noted that COVID-19 had led several countries to take decisive measures to contain the spread of the outbreak with Nigeria inclusive.
These measures include among others, the total shut down of air and land borders across the world leading to a reduction in travels and demand for foreign exchange by travellers.
“Furthermore, the Government’s directive to restrict gatherings to not more than twenty (20) persons is aimed at reducing a person to person contact and curb the transmission of the Covid-19 virus meant that the concentration of the BDC encashers at disbursement centres would pose health challenges.
“In view of the foregoing, hereby confirm that based on your recommendations, sales of foreign currency to members of ABCON is hereby suspended until further notice.”