According to a new directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), recipients of remittances from abroad henceforth have the option to receive their money in naira. This is in addition to the existing alternatives of being paid in dollar and eNaira.
The directive, addressed to banks, international money transfer operators (IMTOs) and the general public, was contained in a circular dated 10 July 2023, and signed by the CBN’s Director for Trade and Exchange Department, O.S. Nnaji.
It reads, “Further to the circular referenced TED/FEM/FPC/GEN/01/011 dated November 30, 2020, in respect of the above subject, the Central Bank of Nigeria hereby announces Naira as a payout option for receipts of proceeds of International Money Transfers.
“Accordingly, all recipients of diaspora remittances through the CBN-approved IMTOs on the attached list shall henceforth have the option of receiving naira payment in addition to USD and eNaira as payout options.
“For the avoidance of doubt, International Money Transfer Operators are required to pay out the proceeds using the Investor & Exporter’s window rate as the anchor rate on the day of the transaction.”
“This regulation takes effect immediately. Please note and ensure compliance.”
It would be recalled that in November 2020, CBN, in a circular, said, to liberalise, simplify and improve the receipt and administration of diaspora remittances into Nigeria, “Beneficiaries of diaspora remittances through IMTOs shall henceforth receive such inflows in foreign currency (US dollars), through the designated bank of their choice.
“Such recipients of remittances may have the option of receiving these funds in foreign currency cash (US dollars) or into their domiciliary account.”
In its new circular, the CBN updated its list of registered IMTOs in the country.
The list was extended from 57 IMTOs in April 2021 to 62.
IMTOs receive cash for the purpose of transmitting to persons resident in Nigeria or another country.
They also execute cross-border transfer services for personal purposes such as money transfer services towards family maintenance and money transfer services for foreign tourists visiting Nigeria.