The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it will commence the immediate refund of capital deposits and licensing fees (where applicable) to promoters who have pending Bureaux de Change (BDC) licence applications.

This is contained in a circular signed by Ibrahim Tukur, director of financial policy and regulation department at CBN, on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the apex bank halted the sales of FX to BDC operators.

Explaining the CBN’s decision, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the apex bank, said that BDC operators have become conduits for illegal financial flows working with corrupt people to conduct money laundering in Nigeria.

In the circular, the apex bank informed BDC promoters with pending applications to forward their requests for the refund in writing to its headquarters in Abuja.

“The requests should be accompanied with the following documents: (a) Telex copy of the capital deposit of N35 million,” the circular reads.

“(b) Account details for the refund, which should be the same as the account from which the capital deposit originated, including the: (i) Bank name (ii) Account name (iii) Account number.

“(c) Copy of the bank draft/telex for payment of licensing fee of N1 million (if any).

“Hardcopy of the request in ‘1’ above should be submitted to CBN Head Office, Central Business District, Abuja or CBN Head Office Annex, Tinubu Square, Lagos in an envelope clearly marked “Refund of BDC Capital Deposit” at its top left corner.

“Softcopy of the request in ‘1’ above may be sent in advance of the hard copy to fprdlicensing@cbn.gov.ng.”

The CBN further directed all deposit money banks (DMBs) to stop accepting instructions from customers to transfer a capital deposit of N35 million to the designated CBN account for BDC licences.

As part of efforts to ensure citizens have access to foreign exchange, the CBN also directed DMBs to set up teller points to meet legitimate foreign exchange (FX) demands.

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