International money transfer operators and banks in Nigeria have recently halted the payment of dollars to their customers. This decision follows the revised guidelines issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on January 31.
The CBN now stipulates that all inbound money transfers to Nigeria must be paid in naira through a bank account or in cash at the prevailing exchange rate. One of the banks that have started to comply with the CBN directive is Ecobank Nigeria.
In a notice to customers, the bank explained the regulatory changes affecting international money transfers into Nigeria through various approved operators such as Western Union, MoneyGram, Rapidtransfer, and Ria.
Transfers exceeding the naira equivalent of $200 must now be credited to the recipient’s bank account. Under the revised guidelines, the CBN has restricted international money transfer operators from outbound transfers.
Beneficiaries of all inbound money transfers will be paid in naira, either in cash or through a bank account. Transfers exceeding $200 will be paid through a bank account.
While banks and fintech companies are prohibited from operating international money transfer services, they can act as agents.
The CBN also requires IMTOs to quote exchange rates for naira payout based on the prevailing market rates. The CBN’s directive aims to discourage the dollarization of the economy and ensure that remittances are utilized for development purposes.
The President of the Association of Bureau De Change of Nigeria, Aminu Gwadebe, supports the move, stating that it helps secure all streams of income coming into the country and reinforces the value of the naira.
In response to the changes, international money transfer operators like WorldRemit and Sendwave have updated their platforms to support transfers in naira instead of USD.
This article was updated 2 weeks ago