Nigerian lawmakers kick against CBN’s N35 million capital base for bureau de change

Some lawmakers say the increase in the capital base for operators of bureau de change would worsen the unemployment rate.

The House of Representatives has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to suspend the new requirement of N35 million increment in capital base for operators of Bureau De Change in Nigeria.

The CBN had on June 23, increased the capital base for Bureau De Change by 25 per cent, representing N35 million as against the N10 million.

The House also mandated the Committee on Banking and Currency to invite the CBN to brief it on the new requirement.

The resolution followed a motion moved by Ibrahim Shehu-Gusau (PDP-Zamfara), which was unanimously adopted.

Leading the debate, Mr. Shehu-Gusau noted that the mandatory cautionary deposit was equally reviewed from N3 million to N35 million to be deposited in a non-interest yielding account with the CBN.

He said that the licensing fee was also increased from N500,000 to N1 million, while the annual renewal fee was increased from N10,000 t N25,000.

He stated that the new requirement was likely to send many operators out of business as it had provided millions of Nigerians with job opportunities.

“The increments are outrageous against the backdrop that the CBN will also reduce the amount of dollars being issued to bureau de change from 50,000 to 15,000 dollars per week.’’

Contributing to the debate, Aminu Suleiman (APC-Kano) said that the new requirement by the CBN would affect his constituents’ livelihood negatively.

He said there is the need for the apex bank to review the requirement to allow operators continue with their jobs.

Ali Madaki (APC-Kano), said that the new requirement, if allowed to stay, would cause unemployment which is already high in the country.

The lawmaker noted that the increment in the capital base would also kill the informal sector which had provided job opportunities for a large section of the population.

In his remarks, Asita Honourable (APC-Rivers), said that the increment was wrongly timed as the nation was experiencing high unemployment.

Some members, however, spoke against the motion and said that the action of the apex bank is in order as it would strengthen the sector.

Victor Nwokolo (PDP-Delta) said the new requirement would not only strengthen the sector, but would also strengthen the value of the Naira.

In his contributions, Linus Okorie (PDP-Ebonyi) said the increase in the capital base would strengthen operations of bureau de change in the country, as groups would put resources together to operate.

Friday Itulah (PDP-Edo) said the new requirement was aimed at ensuring that things were done properly.
He suggested that officials of the apex bank should be invited to interface with the relevant committee of the house on what necessitated the increment.

(NAN)


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