A significant development has unfolded as International Money Transfer Operators and banks across Nigeria have ceased the issuance of dollar payments to their clientele.
This move comes in response to the revised directives outlined for International Money Transfer Operators by the Central Bank of Nigeria on January 31.
Consequently, several banks have notified their customers of the cessation of dollar remittances from family members and acquaintances residing abroad.
In an official communication addressing its international money transfer services, Ecobank Nigeria, among the compliant banks, stated, “We would like to bring to your attention recent regulatory changes affecting international money transfers into Nigeria through Western Union, MoneyGram, Rapidtransfer, Ria, and other CBN approved IMTOS.”
The circular issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria dates. According to the circular issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria dated January 31, 2024, all inbound money transfers to Nigeria via IMTOS will now be exclusively disbursed in naira, either through bank transactions or in cash at prevailing rates in the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market.
Furthermore, transfers exceeding the naira equivalent of $200 must be directly credited to the recipient’s bank account. For naira cash payments under $200, a valid means of identification is required, such as an international passport, driver’s license, national identity card, or INEC Permanent Voters Card.
The updated guidelines from the apex bank have also imposed restrictions on outbound transfers by IMTOs, mandating that beneficiaries of inbound money transfers to Nigeria receive payments solely in naira, whether through cash or bank transactions.
In parallel, the Nigerian Naira experienced a depreciation against the dollar in 2024, reaching an exchange rate exceeding N1450 per dollar.
CBN Governor Olayemi Cardoso has urged Nigerians to curtail foreign exchange transactions to alleviate pressure on the Naira’s value.