CBN Boost Remittances, Approves 14 Int’l Money Transfer Operators

By Clement Alphonsus
Click for Full Image Size
Dr. Olayemi Cardoso (Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has granted approval-in-principle (AIP) to 14 new International money transfer operators (IMTOs) as part of its plans to boost foreign currency remittance flows through formal channels.

The Bank’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Hakama Sidi Ali, disclosed this, yesterday, in Abuja.

She said the initiative will help increase the sustained supply of foreign exchange in the official market by promoting greater competition and innovation amongst IMTOs to lower the cost of remittance transactions and boost financial inclusion.

According to her, “This will spur liquidity in Nigeria’s Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEX), augmenting price discovery to enable a market-driven fair value for the naira.”

Recently, the CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, had declared the intention of the apex bank to double remittance flows into Nigeria within a year, which he thinks is within the reach of the Nigerian bankers’ bank.

“We are wasting no time driving progress to remove any bottlenecks hindering flows through formal channels permanently. We have a determined pathway and a sequenced approach to tackling all challenges ahead, working hand in hand with key stakeholders in the remittance industry," Cardoso said.

Following this, Sidi Ali said the CBN viewed increasing formal remittance flows — one of the major sources of foreign exchange accounting for over six per cent of GDP — as a means of reducing the historical volatility in Nigeria’s exchange rate caused by external factors such as fluctuations in foreign investment and oil export proceeds.

She further explained that the increase in the number of IMTOs is one of the primary actions initiated by the CBN’s remittance task force, overseen by Cardoso as a collaborative unit pulling together specialists to work closely with the private sector and market operators to facilitate the ease of doing business in the remittance ecosystem in Nigeria.