Nigerian banks have started the implementation of CBN’s new requirements for international money transfer operation Based on the new rule, commercial banks are now allowed to convert customers’ remittances from abroad to naira. Also, CBN placed a ban on the dollar and other foreign currency payouts for international transactions received through IMTOs.
The CBN released revised guidelines for the operations of International money transfer operators (IMTOs) and instructed banks to begin paying dollars and other foreign currency payouts from abroad in naira to boost forex supply and starve the black market traders.
Part of the CBN circular reads: “All inbound money transfers to Nigeria shall be paid to beneficiaries in Naira through a bank account, or cash. “Proceeds of IMTO more than the equivalent of $200 shall be paid through an account. Cash payments shall be made upon the provision of a satisfactory/acceptable means of identification. “Where the beneficiary does not have an account with the IMTO agent bank, the agent bank shall credit the beneficiary account in another bank.”
Banks begin full implementation In reaction to the new guidelines, Nigerian banks have issued statements to their customers explaining the changes. Ecobank message to customers seen by [/b]Legit.ng reads:
[b]”Dear Valued Customer, We would like to bring to your attention recent regulatory changes affecting international money transfers into Nigeria. “With regards to the Circular issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) dated January 31, 2024, all in-bound money transfers to Nigeria will be paid only in Naira through a bank account or in cash at the prevailing rate in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market. “Furthermore, transfers exceeding the equivalent of $200 must be credited to the recipient’s bank account while cash payments for amounts below $200 will require an acceptable means of identification.
The acceptable means of identification is listed as follows: International passport, Driver’s license, National Identity card, INEC Permanent Voters Card (PVC)”.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian government and the Central Bank of Nigeria have responded to reports suggesting plans by the government to convert funds in domiciliary accounts to naira. Over $30 billion is reported to be sitting idle in accounts across Nigerian banks, including Access, GTB, UBA, Zenith, and others. The report claims the move will help the naira recover in the forex market and boost forex supply in Nigeria.