Nigeria boost Diaspora remittances inflows to $30 mln weekly after liberalisation~CBN
Nigeria experienced increase in foreign exchange flows into the country five-fold since the review of the diaspora remittance policy by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in December last year.
According to Governor Godwin Emefiele, the weekly inflow from diaspora remittances has increased to $30 million from $5m previously.
In December, the CBN liberalised the diaspora remittance space by directing that recipients of funds from diaspora remittance should be paid in cash by local bank agents of money transfer operators against the previous arrangement where beneficiaries are paid in local currency.
Since the lifting of the restrictions, both Western Union, Moneygram and other International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) have been disbursing diaspora remittances in dollars to beneficiaries in line with the new policy.
While speaking at the Banker’s committees forum for economic growth on Friday, Emefiele said the review of the diaspora remittances regulation has boost forex inflows into the country.
“The CBN has already taken several measures to increase the flow of diaspora remittances into the country using formal channels.
“In December 2020, we instructed all international money transfer operators to provide remitters with the option of sending foreign exchange to beneficiaries in Nigeria.
“This new measure has helped to reduce the diversion of forex by some IMTOs, who had thrived from forex arbitrage arrangements, rather than on improving transactions volumes to Nigeria.
“Indeed, we have already seen remittances improve from a weekly average of about $5 million before this policy, to over $30 millio per week.
“We believe this measure will help to significantly boost inflows of forex and create much more liquidity in that space.”
However, the CBN chief said the decline in the country’s foreign exchange reserves has forced the regulator to adjust the naira value and introduced a demand management framework on the domestic forex market.
The country’s forex buffer currently stood at $35.17 billion as of February 24, 2021.