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CBN okays dollar remittances account opening, others

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has given the go ahead to commercial banks to open new dollar account with offshore lenders for receiving international money transfers.

The directive was disclosed by WorldRemit- an International Money Transfer Operators (IMTO) player to its clients.

The new directive on dollar account opening is coming two months after the CBN raised the alarm that its policy mandating IMTOs to pay diaspora remittances beneficiaries in dollars is being flouted.

The regulator further instructed all mobile money operators to  disable wallets from receipt of funds from IMTOs following suspected abuse of policy guidelines by the IMTOs.

According to CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, analysed data on IMTOs inflows into the country over the past year, and through investigations showed that some IMTOs, rather than compete on improving transaction volumes and create more efficient ways for Nigerians in the Diaspora to remit funds, resorted to engaging in commercial arrangements on the naira-dollar exchange rate.

This, to a large extent, resulted in a significant drop in flows into the country.

Emefiele discouraged the use of unsafe unofficial channels, which also supported diversion of remittance flows meant for Nigeria, thereby undermining Nigeria’s Foreign Exchange management framework.

In its response to the new policy, WorldRemit, said it welcomed the CBN announcement that all Nigerian banks will be mandated to facilitate money transfers by automatically opening US Dollar bank accounts for those who do not currently have US Dollar bank accounts.

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