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CBN Accuses IMTOs Of Violating Diaspora Remittances Policy

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has reported a breach by International Money Transfer Operators on Diaspora remittances, which it described as a gross violation and intended to undermine its new policy.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this on Thursday during a media briefing in Abuja on the apex bank’s new policy on Diaspora remittances, the implementation which kicks off today.
The CBN had on Monday reviewed its policy on remittances, which will allows recipients receive their funds in dollars, thereby reducing current exchange rate pressures on the national currency (Naira), particularly at the parallel market.

Emefiele, while commenting on the resistance by the IMTOs,explained that “in the course of following up on the implementation of the afore mentioned new policy, the apex bank observed some push back by some of these IMTOs who were determined in continuing their nefarious activities of undermining the policy by attempting to resist the new regulatory regime.

He maintained that in view of this, CBN had to insist on December 2, 2020, that all Deposit Money Banks must close all naira general ledger in their banks through which naira remittances were being received.

The Governor further explained that “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.”

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.

Emefiele also said the apex bank authorities held consultations with the major IMTOs and banks on Thursday and that all the parties finally resolved to deploy all necessary tools and facilities to ensure compliance to the apex bank directive beginning Friday, December 4, 2020.

Based on the consensus, Emefiele clarified: “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 and that they will be able to remit funds to their recipients in Nigeria effective tomorrow morning, December 4, 2020.”

According to him, the systems of the three IMTOs and the banks have been configured to implement the new remittance policy with immediate effect.

He said: “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.

“We should be bidding a farewell to speculators who think they will like to undermine our foreign exchange policies,” the apex bank governor stressed.

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