The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN has issued modalities for the payout of diaspora remittances. This was issued in order to stop the illegal activities of some IMTOs and unlicensed operators in the country.
The Apex Bank In a Circular titled “Receipt of Diaspora Remittances: Additional Operational Guidelines”, and issued to All Authorised Dealers And International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) on Friday, 22nd January 2021, explained that the modalities were given, because some IMTOs and unlicensed companies are working against the directives of CBN.
“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 beneficianes in dollars”.
However, in order to avoid doubts, CBN further clarifies the payout of diaspora remittances, by giving the following modalities:
1. Only licensed IMTOs are permitted to carry on the business of facilitating diaspora remittances into Nigeria;
2. Alt diaspora remittances must be received by beneficiaries in foreign currency only (cash and/or transfers to domiciliary accounts of recipients),
3. 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 earlier directed to be closed), third party accounts or via any other payment platforms within and/or around the Nigenan financial system.
CBN further explained that “these measures are intended to promote transparency, grow diaspora remittances and significantly improve foreign exchange inflows into Nigeria Strict sanctions, including withdrawal of operating licenses, shail be imposed on any individuals and/or institutions. found to be aiding, abetting or directly contravening these guidelines.
“For unlicensed operators, the CBN shall not hesitate to authonze the closure of their accounts in Nigenan banks, including being barred from accessing banking services in Nigeria.”
The Apex Bank promised to continue to monitor developments concerning diaspora remittances and stated that it will further issue Quidance as appropnate.