Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele said beneficiaries of diaspora remittances will now be paid in dollars from today.
In a statement obtained from the apex bank’s official website, Emefiele said:
“In an effort to liberalise, simplify and improve the receipt and administration of the Diaspora remittances into Nigeria, CBN wishes to announce as follows:
“Beneficiaries of Diaspora Remittances through International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) shall henceforth receive such inflows in foreign currency (U.S. dollars) through the designated bank of their choice.
“Such recipients of remittances may have the option of receiving these funds in foreign currency cash (U.S. dollars) or into their ordinary domiciliary accounts.
“These changes are necessary to deepen the foreign exchange market, provide more liquidity and create more transparency in the administration of Diaspora Remittances into Nigeria,” he said.
Emefiele said that the changes would help finance a future stream of investment opportunities for Nigerians in the Diaspora, while also guaranteeing that recipients of remittances would receive a market-reflective exchange rate for their inflows.
“All Authorised Dealers and the general public should note that beneficiaries shall have unfettered access and utilisation to such foreign currency proceeds either in FX cash and/or in their Domiciliary Accounts,” he said.
He however said that some of the stakeholders had tried to frustrate the new policy measures, adding that the apex bank would resort to stiffer measures to ensure its implementation.
“In the course of following up on the implementation of the aforementioned new policies, the CBN observed some pushback by some of the International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) who were bent on undermining the new policies.
“This was the reason the CBN had to insist that all DMBs must close all Naira General Ledgers through which the Naira remittances were hitherto being carried out.
“In an effort to enable smooth implementation of the policy, the CBN has engaged with the commercial banks and the IMTOs to ensure that recipients of remittance inflows are able to receive their funds
in the designated foreign currency of their choice.
“As a result of these engagements, which took place with major IMTOs and the Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), the stakeholders have committed that they would deploy all the necessary tools to ensure
that these measures become effective from Friday, Dec. 4.
“I therefore seize this opportunity to announce to Nigerians both at home and in the Diaspora that the policy of recipients receiving their monies from abroad kicks off on Friday,” he said.
Emefiele said that the changes came as a result of the bank’s internal review of the operations of IMTOs and the potential impact improved flows could have on the economy.
He said that the IT systems of the IMTOs (Western Union, Moneygram and Ria services) and the DMBs had been configured to begin such remittances.
He said that the new policy measures would help in providing a more convenient channel for Nigerians in the Diaspora to remit funds back to Nigeria.
“We will also ensure that these funds can contribute to the overall development of our economy,” he assured.