Give Bureau De Change Operators Second Chance, Kalu Begs Buhari

Orji-Uzor-Kalu

A former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to reconsider his decision to restrict the business of Bureau de Change (BDC) operations in the country.

Kalu, who controls a multi-billion dollar business empire, said stringent mea­sures against the micro-financial sector will not be in the interest of the business community and the opera­tors of the BDCs, particu­larly.

The ex-governor, while acknowledging the existence of a “few bad eggs”, however, pointed out that a majority of the BDC operators are credible and should not be unjustly punished.

In a statement by his media adviser, Mr. Eb­ere Wabara, Kalu enjoined President Buhari to take a second look at the critical economic policy.

He said: “I appreciate President Buhari’s un­flinching resolution on re-engineering of our econo­my and the imperativeness of blocking all loopholes. Inasmuch as I admit that there are a few bad eggs in the BDC business, I also know that most of them are into genuine and transparent transactions bordering on currency ex­change.

“I appeal to President Buhari to reconsider his stance on this, because most of the BDC operators and their families depend on the business for surviv­al, hence, outlawing it will bring acute hardship and unmitigated suffering on all those affected directly or indirectly.

“A forensic analysis of the activities of the BDC operators nationwide should be painstakingly carried out and those found wanting should be delisted while the revali­dated and certified ones are allowed continuation with their official financial intermediation functions, as approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

“Recently, BDC opera­tors paid a mandatory N35 million each to CBN as part of their operational requirements. Most of them must have bor­rowed to comply with the apex bank’s stipulation. It would be burdensome on these businessmen if their source of livelihood is abruptly terminated. Apart from the social implica­tions on family life, most of them will remain indebted to their creditors for a long time because of their in­capacitation to service the loans, or, worse still, make outright liquidation of the loans and meet other fi­nancial obligations.

“Equally worthy of note is the high level of unem­ployment in the country currently. Throwing the BDC operators out of their jobs will complicate mat­ters and have far-reaching consequences on them, their dependants and the society generally.

“I passionately plead to President Buhari to give the BDC operators a sec­ond chance. With the sani­tisation of their operations as enunciated by the CBN, I am sure that, henceforth, they will not allow fresh bad eggs into their fold, as that is the only way to fore­close outlawing of their operations”.

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