Applicants demand refund of N35M processing fees for BDC license


Following the suspension of FOREX sales to Bureau De Change (BDC) operators as well as processing of new licenses for BDC operation in the country by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), applicants for new BDC licenses have demanded for the immediate refund of their processing fee totaling N35 million.

Applicants demand refund of N35M processing fees for BDC license
File photo: CBN Gov. Godwin Emefiele

In a report by ELOMBAH, one of the affected applicants who did not want her names in print recalled that CBN brought up the policy suspending processing of new licenses more than a month ago and since then, refused to refund the affected applicants their money.

While noting that the apex bank was supposed to return their money immediately, she maintained that up till now, the bank was still holding unto their money, some of which were paid since last year.

According to her, “To say that they are still holding unto some of these refunds is sad. Out of the N35 million, he (Emefiele) has refunded some while he is yet to refund some, 70 percent of the money is still with the CBN. He should refund the capital base of those applicants whose application processes were suspended.

“Aside from the fact that we started the process, yes, it is not guaranteed because it is a policy driven business, nobody can influence it. They will say that they will make policies that will favour the economy of the country but then, people have invested their money and you have received these monies and then, you have a policy on ground that has stopped the process, the right thing to do is to return the people’s money immediately considering the fact that there is even devaluation. Some of these monies were sent to CBN when you could use N35 million to buy $100,000 and they are not keeping these money with interest.

“So, there is already a devaluation, you have kept money, you did not give them license. There is a policy, we understand, but then, you should return people’s money without delay. And we are even hearing that they are using it to do turnover. They should return this money, people should not write applications for refund and then, their money is being held.”

Another applicant who also did not want his names in print accused the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele of working with the opposition party to sabotage President Muhammadu Buhari’s government by unnecessarily manipulating the cost of getting Dollar to solve problems and boost the economy of Nigeria.

He said, “Just recently, the CBN governor came up with a policy devaluing the Naira and promoting the Dollar. Before the end of next week, Dollar will be N600. There is no means of assessing it, he has his policy only to sabotage Buhari’s government without having Dollar in circulation; the Dollar is gaining over the Naira every day.

“We are telling President Muhammadu Buhari that there is no need for him to be keeping a CBN governor who is sabotaging his government; he should be fired because he doesn’t know what he is doing. He banned BDCs, he is supposed to return their money in less than 48 hours but up till one month, people have not received their money and N35 million Naira with the high rate of Dollar now won’t be N35 million again. We see it as fraud, CBN governor is engaging in fraud by keeping people’s money.

“Those that applied for licenses to run BDCs, after keeping their money for one year, he came up with this policy cancelling the transaction. He should return the N35 million back to the people he received this money from. He claimed that the BDCs operators were using Dollar to sponsor illegal acquisition of arms by the insurgents which is a lie. What he should have done is to carry out his investigation with the aim of identifying those that are involved in the act and sanction them. No BDC operator will sponsor illegal arms importation into the country; he is just using that one as an excuse.

“He is making things difficult in Nigeria, business men are losing money, and companies are folding up. Buhari has good intention but the CBN governor is sabotaging the economy, he should be fired.”

On insistence by CBN that people who have genuine needs for FOREX should apply through the banks, he said, “They brought up a policy that says if you go to the bank to buy Dollar and the bank doesn’t give you, report to CBN. Now the man is saying that if you have legitimate need for Dollar, you should access the Dollar through the bank but you know that majority of the people, if you want to import jeans; you are not going to go the bank since you know that the CBN will not answer you because it is not legitimate. So, they will not allow you to access Dollar, you have to now resort to black market. There is another thing he did today, he is of the opinion that there is no such thing as black market, that the black market should not determine the price of Dollar for the economy but you can’t do without the black market. So, he is of the opinion that this has to stop. But that is what will determine the rate because even if you go to the bank, you cannot buy.

“If you go to the bank, even the people that have legitimate need for Dollar, even though you have Form M, if you don’t settle, banks know what the black market is doing, so, you must add that thing for them before they sell to you. If not, your application will be there, nobody will attend to it. He should ease the means of getting Dollar so that businessmen and Nigerians will earn a living because as far as we are concerned, US controls the world.”

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