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CBN to increase remittances, approves 14 int’l money transfer operators

Mr. Olayemi Cardoso

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has granted approval-in-principle (AIP) to 14 new International money transfer operators (IMTOs) in its bid to double foreign currency remittance flows through formal channels.

This was disclosed, yesterday, in Abuja by the Bank’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Hakama Sidi Ali.

She stated that the initiative will help increase the sustained supply of foreign exchange in the official market by promoting greater competition and innovation amongst IMTOs to lower the cost of remittance transactions and boost financial inclusion.

She said: “This will spur liquidity in Nigeria’s Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEX), augmenting price discovery to enable a market-driven fair value for the naira.”

The CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, had recently declared the intention of the apex bank to double remittance flows into Nigeria within a year, which he thinks is within the reach of the Nigerian bankers’ bank.

Cardoso said: “We are wasting no time driving progress to remove any bottlenecks hindering flows through formal channels permanently. We have a determined pathway and a sequenced approach to tackling all challenges ahead, working hand in hand with key stakeholders in the remittance industry.”

Towing the same line, Sidi Ali said the CBN viewed increasing formal remittance flows — one of the major sources of foreign exchange accounting for over six per cent of GDP — as a means of reducing the historical volatility in Nigeria’s exchange rate caused by external factors such as fluctuations in foreign investment and oil export proceeds.

She noted that the increase in the number of IMTOs is one of the primary actions initiated by the CBN’s remittance task force, overseen by Cardoso as a collaborative unit pulling together specialists to work closely with the private sector and market operators to facilitate the ease of doing business in the remittance ecosystem in Nigeria.

The task force was established as a direct result of an executive learning session with IMTOs during the World Bank/IMF Spring Meetings held in Washington DC, United States, in April 2024.

She revealed that the task force will meet regularly to implement strategy and monitor the impact of its measures on remittance inflows.

SOURCE: Guardian Nigeria