Commercial banks have been required by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to open new dollar accounts with offshore lenders for foreign money transfers.
The Directive was made available to its customers by a WorldRemit- and Foreign Money Transfer Operators (IMTO) player.
Two months after the CBN raised the alarm that its policy mandating IMTOs to pay diaspora remittance beneficiaries in dollars is being flouted, the latest Dollar Account Opening Directive is coming.
The regulator further directed that, following suspected abuse of policy guidelines by the IMTOs, all mobile money operators should disable wallets upon receipt of funds from IMTOs.
According to CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, data on IMTO inflows into the country over the past year have been analyzed and investigations have shown that some IMTOs have resorted to arbitration arrangements on the naira-dollar exchange rate rather than competing to increase transaction volumes and establish more effective ways for Nigerians in the Diaspora to remit funds.
This, to a large extent, led to a significant decrease in flows into the country.
The use of unsafe unofficial channels, which also supported the diversion of remittance flows designed for Nigeria, was promoted by Emefiele, thus undermining the Foreign Exchange management system of Nigeria.
WorldRemit, in its response to the new policy, welcomed the CBN announcement that all Nigerian banks would be allowed to facilitate money transfers by immediately opening bank accounts in the US Dollar for those who do not currently have bank accounts in the US Dollar.