BUJUMBURA June 13th (ABP) – Prime Minister Gervais Ndirakobuca held on Monday, June 12, 2023, at the Ntare Rushatsi House, a meeting with officials of exchange offices and those of the BRB, to see how to find solutions to the various challenges that arise in the field of monetary exchange.
In his introductory remarks, the Prime Minister said that the work of the monetary exchange must get a lot of attention to avoid ruining the economy of the country. For that issue, he invited all stakeholders in the field of monetary exchange, to do so in accordance with the law so as not to expose themselves to sanctions. Managers of exchange offices who find that working in accordance with the law in that matter is not easy, are requested to stop working in that sector of currency exchange. After his introductory remarks, the meeting continued behind closed doors.
The Prime Minister’s spokesman, Moïse Nkurunziza, said after those exchanges that it was found that the exchange offices did not realize what they had to do. He explained that instead of doing monetary exchange, they devoted themselves to collecting currencies, instead of carrying out their job as money changers.
He explained that whoever comes with foreign currency finds their exchange in local currency, while whoever comes with local currency does not find service in foreign currency. It was also found that the so-called officials of the exchange offices are not their real owners. For all those reasons, measures were taken on the same occasion.
Any exchange office, within a period not exceeding 3 days, must reconstitute its share capital of BIF 500 million as prescribed by the regulations in this area, because this money constitutes a guarantee.
It was also decided during the meeting that any exchange office that cannot collect and declare to the BRB, an amount of 50,000 dollars or euros each week will be closed. Overseas money transfer houses are temporarily suspended and only commercial banks are allowed to do this work.
Anyone caught in possession of currency cash without preparing for a trip abroad or heading to the exchange office will be prosecuted. Foreign exchange offices opened in the name of more than one person were to file, on June 12 at the BRB, the supporting documents relating thereto.
All commercial transactions made on Burundian soil must be settled in local currency, with the exception of the service sector, including hotels, the Prime Minister’s spokesperson said.