The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced a new directive requiring International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) to offer recipients the choice of receiving remittances in Naira, the Nigerian currency, in addition to foreign exchange options. The CBN’s decision aims to provide beneficiaries with increased flexibility and accessibility in receiving their funds.
Under the directive, IMTOs are required to utilize the exchange rate from the Investors and Exporters’ (I&E) window foreign exchange to determine the conversion rate for Naira payouts. This measure ensures that the payout rate is aligned with prevailing market conditions.
In a circular issued by O.S Nnaji, the Director of the CBN’s Trade and Exchange Department, a list of 62 approved IMTOs has been provided. Prominent names on the list include Western Union, World Remit Limited, CashPot Limited, eTransact International Limited, Leadremit Limited, Flutterwave Technology Solutions Limited, and Interswitch Limited. Other approved IMTOs, such as Belyfted Limited, Caperemit UK Limited, Chime In (Sendwave), Colony Capital Limited, Comet Trading Nigeria Limited, CSL Pay Limited, and CP Express Limited, are also included.
The CBN’s announcement emphasizes that this new policy is an extension of a prior circular (TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/011) issued on November 30, 2020. The circular notifies all recipients of diaspora remittances processed through the approved IMTOs mentioned in the attached list that they can now opt for Naira payments alongside the existing USD and eNaira options.
To ensure compliance, the CBN mandates that IMTOs must utilize the Investors & Exporters’ Window rate as the anchor rate on the day of the transaction when disbursing the proceeds to recipients. The implementation of this regulation is effective immediately.
The CBN’s decision to introduce Naira as a payout option for international remittances is expected to provide greater convenience to recipients, enabling them to receive funds in their local currency. This move aligns with the CBN’s ongoing efforts to enhance financial inclusivity and promote a more efficient remittance ecosystem within Nigeria.
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