The CBN governor said this on Thursday.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revoked the licence of 20 Bureau De Change (BDC) companies for foreign exchange malpractice.
The Central Bank Governor, Lamido Sanusi, disclosed this at Ikoyi Club 75th Anniversary Lecture held in Lagos on Thursday.
Mr. Sanusi, who declined to mention the names of the affected BDCs, said that the promoters would be charged with money laundering. He said that the affected BDC operators bought dollars from commercial banks without accounting for what the dollars were needed for, nor the purchasers of the money.
The CBN governor said that the apex bank’s investigation showed that commercial banks were importing billions of US dollars in the country for onward sale to the affected BDCs.
“This week, I have revoked licence of 20 BDCs and they will be prosecuted for money laundering with the banks,” Mr. Sanusi said.
He said that Nigeria had taken over from Russian as the highest importer of U.S. dollars which led to the fall of the nation’s local currency at the foreign exchange market.
Mr. Sanusi said that the country was importing more U.S. dollars in cash than any other country in the world.
He said that the apex bank would continue to protect depositors’ funds and ensure stability of the naira at all times.
Speaking on the banking sector reforms, he said that bad loans of commercial banks cost the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) the sum of N5.1 trillion.
He said that bulk of the cost would be borne by banks, adding that all the banks made contributions into the sinking fund.
“Nigeria is the only country where the cost will be owned by banks and not tax payers’ money because every bank made contribution into the sinking fund,” Mr. Sanusi said.
He said that by December, AMCON would pay N1 trillion of the debt and would pay another N1.1 trillion by October 2014.
Mr. Sanusi said that by end of October 2014, the only organisation AMCON would be owing would be CBN, adding that, the banks were fine.