By Tony Obiechina, Abuja
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), had announced a new policy initiative, which would help to boost remittance inflows and foster an environment of faster, cheaper, and more convenient flow of remittances back to the country.
The new policy which was unveiled by the Apex Bank on Monday, will become effective from Friday, 4th December, 2020.
CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele who made the announcement while addressing stakeholders in Abuja on Thursday said the new policy became necessary “in an effort to liberalize, simplify and improve the receipt and administration of Diaspora remittances into Nigeria”.
According to the Governor. beneficiaries of Diaspora Remittances through International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) shall henceforth receive such inflows in foreign currency (US Dollars) through the designated bank of their choice.
He further stated that such recipients of remittances may have the option of receiving these funds in foreign currency cash (US Dollars) or into their ordinary domiciliary account.
Emefiele said, “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.
“In addition, these 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. The Governor directed that “all Authorized Dealers and the general public should note that beneficiaries shall have unfettered access and utilization to such foreign currency proceeds, either in FX cash and/or in their Domiciliary Accounts, in line with our circular TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/010”.
He pointed out that while implementing the new policies, the CBN observed some pushback by some of the IMTOs who were bent on continuing their nefarious activities of undermining the policy by attempting to resist the new policies.
According to him, that was the reason the CBN “had to insist on Wednesday, December 2, 2020, that all DMBs MUST close all Naira General Ledgers through which the Naira remittances were hitherto being carried out.
“Following the announcement of these new policy measures, the Central Bank of Nigeria, in an effort to enable smooth implementation, 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 DMBs, today, Thursday, December 3, 2020, the stakeholders have committed that they would deploy all the necessary tools to ensure that these measures become effective from Friday, December 4, 2020.
“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 December 4, 2020. All the IT systems of these IMTOs (Western Union, Moneygram and Ria services) and the DMBs have been properly configured to begin remittance tomorrow, Friday, December 4, 2020”, he added.