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Diaspora remittance charges'll be reduced – Sanusi

By The Citizen
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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Wednesday said it was considering a new guideline that would help improve remittance service delivery in the country.

The new framework, the bank said, would help to eliminate the rigidity that was responsible for high remittance charges, and improve financial access to youths.

The CBN Governor, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, stated this while addressing delegates of the Students for Advance and Global Entrepreneurs, led by its founder, Prof. Curtis DeBerg, who visited the CBN headquarters in Abuja.

The governor, who was represented by the Director, Development Finance Department, CBN, Mr. Paul Eluhaiwe, said the guideline had become imperative since over 15 per cent of Diaspora remittances were being made for educational purposes.

He added that 15 per cent of the remittances were used to support new businesses in which youths were engaged as either owners or employees.

'We are working towards eliminating rigidities accountable for high remittance charges, having established that over 15 per cent of Diaspora remittances are for educational purposes of the youths, while 12 per cent supports new businesses in which youths are engaged as either owners or employees,' Sanusi said,

He explained that the central bank had removed the exclusivity agreements, which money transfer organisations signed with the banks, adding that it would continue to do all that was necessary to ensure that the charges were effectively moderated.

Sanusi said, 'An integral part of our strategy is the establishment of Entrepreneurial Development Centres across the country. This is a critical component as it has been established that poor income is a key contributory factor to financial exclusion in Nigeria.

'Through the EDCs, we have counselled over 100,000 entrepreneurs, trained over 41,000 and facilitated access to finance for more than 1,000, thereby keeping their visions of owning thriving entrepreneurs alive.'

For women and mothers of the youths, the governor said the CBN had set a target of ensuring that financial exclusion among them was reduced from 54 per cent to 20 per cent by 2020.

He argued that for a society to grow socially and economically, women must be elevated and provided with equal opportunities.

To achieve this, he said the bank would inaugurate a Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund before the end of the third quarter.

The fund, he stated, would have about 60 per cent committed to financing women entrepreneurs to enhance their access to finance.