Nigeria’s central bank accuses IMTOs of breaching rules on diaspora remittances
By Oludare Mayowa
The Central bank of Nigeria (CBN) has accused some International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) of breaching its guidelines on receipt of diaspora remittances as they continue to pay recipients in local currency in violation of its directive.
The regulatory bank in a statement on Wednesday noted “material compliance by majority of market participants as beneficiaries of remittances through IMTOs now receive foreign currency through their designated banks.
“However, and regrettably, a few operators continue to pay remittances in local currency contrary to the regulatory directive,” the CBN said, adding that it “frowns at this practice.”
Subsequently, the CBN directed all switches and processors to immediately cease all local currency transfers in respect of foreign remittances through IMTOs.
It also said all MMOs are required to immediately disable wallets from receipt of funds from IMTOs.
“Payment service providers are directed to cease integrating their systems with IMTOs going forward and must prevent comingling of remittances with other legitimate transactions.
“All IMTOs are required to immediately disclose to beneficiaries that they exercise discretion to receive transfers in foreign currency cash or directly into their domiciliary accounts.
“A central reporting portal for all foreign remittances to be managed by the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) is currently under development to improve visibility of foreign remittances flows,” the CBN said.