Emefiele accuses IMTOs of forex diversion, as weekly diaspora remittances grow | Ripples Nigeria
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Emefiele accuses IMTOs of forex diversion, as weekly diaspora remittances grow



Exporters rake in $1.16b in 3 months

Nigeria’s Diaspora remittances recorded 500 percent increase in inflow since the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed all International Money Transfer Operators (IMTO) to allow remitters send foreign exchange directly to beneficiaries within the country.

According to the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, the CBN initiative has had a significant impact on the flow of weekly diaspora remittances which climbed to $30 million post-initiative from $5 million pre-initiative.

The directive was made in December to curb the diversion of forex by some International Money Transfer Operators. Ripples Nigeria gathered that the initiative was meant to increase forex amid decline.

The fall in crude oil price, low demand for oil and the global lockdown caused by COVID-19 had dwindled Nigeria’s forex, but the CBN initiative has boost availability and also enable Nigerians to receive dollars in real value rather than the transfers through IMTOs which reduces value of the remittance to beneficiaries.

While lauding the impact of CBN’s directive at the CBN/Bankers Committee’s initiative for economic growth, organised by Vanguard, Emefiele said the measure has also reduced diversion of forex.

Read also: Nigerians must prioritise production to develop the economy –Emefiele

“The CBN has already taken several measures to increase the flow of diaspora remittances into the country using formal channels.

“In December 2020, we instructed all international money transfer operators to provide remitters with the option of sending foreign exchange to beneficiaries in Nigeria.

“This new measure has helped to reduce the diversion of forex by some IMTOs, who had thrived from forex arbitrage arrangements, rather than on improving transactions volumes to Nigeria.

“Indeed, we have already seen remittances improve from a weekly average of about $5m before this policy, to over $30m per week.

“We believe this measure will help to significantly boost inflows of forex and create much more liquidity in that space.”

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