The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed its next line of actions against Nigerian Banks facilitating Diaspora Remittances in Naira instead of Dollar from the International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs).
Brandnewsday understands that the CBN in a circular, posted on its official website, titled, “Modalities For Payout of Diaspora Remittances”, expressed displeasure over continued diaspora remittances into the country in Naira instead of dollars, by IMTOs and unlicensed companies, contravened its directives.
According to the apex bank, for unauthorized operators, the CBN shall not hesitate to authorize the closure of their accounts in Nigerian banks, including being barred from accessing banking services in Nigeria.
Speaking on the development, Director Trade and Exchange Department of CBN, Dr O.S. Nnaji stated in a circular, Friday, that the Diaspora Remittances in Naira to the country violated the apex bank’s order that all remittances be paid to beneficiaries in the US dollars.
”Further to our circular titled” Receipt of Diaspora Remittances: Additional Operational Guidelines “, it has come to our notice that some IMTOs and unlicensed companies continue to facilitate diaspora remittances into the country in Naira, “in clear contravention of the Central Bank of Nigeria directive that all remittances be paid to beneficiaries in dollars,” the circular read.
Diaspora Remittances In Naira
The circular shed light that only licensed IMTOs were allowed to carry on the business of facilitating Diaspora remittances into Nigeria, stressing that all diaspora remittances must be received by beneficiaries in foreign currency only, whether via cash and/or transfers to domiciliary accounts of recipients.
The Central Bank reiterated that ”IMTOs are not permitted, under any circumstances, to disburse diaspora remittances in Naira ( either in cash or by electronic transfers) be it through naira remittance settlement accounts, which had been directed to closed, third party accounts or via any other payment platforms within and/or around the Nigeran financial system.”
According to the circular, the measures were intended to promote transparency, grow diaspora remittances and significantly improve foreign exchange inflows into Nigeria.
The CBN noted that strict sanctions, including withdrawal of operating licenses, shall be imposed on any individuals and/or institutions found to be aiding, helping or directly contravening these guidelines.
For unlicensed operators, the CBN said it shall not hesitate to authorize the closure of their accounts in Nigerian banks, including being barred from accessing banking services in Nigeria.
In conclusion, the apex bank pledged its continuous monitoring of developments in this regard, adding that it would also issue further guidance as appropriate.