CBN accuses Money Transfer Operators of frustrating new forex policy

Uba Group

VICTORIA ONU, ABUJA

THE Central Bank of Nigeria has accused International Money Transfer Operators of undermining its new policy on diaspora remittances, as the implementation of the new initiative kicks off on Friday.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, made the accusation on Thursday during a media briefing on the apex bank’s new policy on diaspora remittances in Abuja.

The CBN had on Monday reviewed its policy on remittances which will allow recipients receive their funds in dollars, a move which gave the naira a lift at the parallel market.

Emefiele, while reacting to the resistance by the IMTOs, said, “In the course of following up on the implementation of the afore mentioned new policy, the Central Bank of Nigeria observed some push back by some of these IMTOs who were hell bent in continuing their nefarious activities of undermining our policy by attempting to resist the new policies.”

Consequently, the CBN said it had to insist on December 2, 2020, for all Deposit Money Banks to close all naira general ledger in their banks through which naira remittances were being received.

“Any naira deposited by any IMTO through their APIs into Deposit Money Banks or any recipients, I have directed that those naira be returned to those IMTOs and that what should be remitted back to the recipients should be foreign currency,” Emefiele said.

Following the announcement of this new policy measures, the CBN in an effort to ensure its smooth implementation, said it had engaged commercial banks and IMTOs, to ensure that the recipients of remittance inflows would be able to receive their funds in the designated foreign currency of their choice.

The bank also said it held consultation with the major IMTOs and banks on Thursday, as all the parties finally resolved to deploy all necessary tools and facilities to ensure compliance with the apex bank’s directive beginning Friday, December 4, 2020.

Based on the consensus, Emefiele said, “Any of our brethren in the diaspora who wishes to remit funds to members of their families or any recipient in Nigeria is free to go to any of the IMTO offices and I will repeat particularly the ones that we have engaged so far – Western Union, MoneyGram and RIA Money Transfer.

“They will be able to remit funds to their recipients in Nigeria effective tomorrow morning, December 4, 2020.”

He noted that the systems of the three IMTOs and the banks had been configured to implement the new remittance policy by Friday.

“We believe that this new policy measures will help in providing a more convenient channel for Nigerians in the diaspora to remit funds back to Nigeria, as well as ensure that these funds can continue to contribute in the overall development of our country, because we believe that these funds are necessary,” he added.

The governor also said the new policy would further moderate the initial spike in the country’s exchange rate.

“We should be bidding a farewell to speculators who think they will like to undermine our foreign exchange policies,” he concluded.