CBN Insists Diaspora Remittances Must Be Paid In Foreign Currencies

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has again warned it would sanction International Transfer Operators (IMTOs) who fail to pay all remittances in foreign currencies.

A circular signed by the apex bank’s director of Trade and Exchange Department, Mr. O S Nnaji, said it has come to the notice of the bank that some IMTOs and unlicensed companies continued to facilitate diaspora remittances into Nigeria in Naira, in clear contravention of the CBN’s directive that all remittances be paid to beneficiaries in dollars.

The circular reads, “For the avoidance of doubts, the Central Bank of Nigeria further clarifies that : Only licensed IMTOs are permitted to carry on the business of facilitating diaspora remittances into Nigeria; All diaspora remittances must be received by beneficiaries in foreign currency only(cash and/or transfers to domiciliary accounts of recipients); IMTOs are not permitted, under any circumstance to disburse diaspora remittances in Naira (either in cash or by electronic transfers), be it through Naira.

The apex bank explained that these measures are intended to promote transparency, grow diaspora remittances and significantly improve foreign exchange inflows into Nigeria. It warned that strict sanctions, including withdrawal of operating licences shall be imposed on individuals and/or institutions found to be aiding, abetting or directly contravening these guidelines.

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