International Money Transfer Operators and banks in Nigeria have halted the payment of dollars to their customers.
This follows the issuance of revised guidelines for International Money Transfer Operators by the Central Bank of Nigeria on January 31.
As a result, some banks informed their customers that they would no longer be able to receive dollars from family and friends in the diaspora.
In a notice to customers on its international money transfer operations, Ecobank Nigeria, one of the banks that has started to comply with CBN directive said, “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 dated January 31, 2024, stipulates that all in-bound money transfers to Nigeria via IMTOS 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 naira equivalent of $200 must be credited to the recipient’s bank account. Naira cash payment equivalent for amounts below $200 will require an acceptable means of identification. The acceptable means of identification is any of the following: international passport, Driver’s licence, National identity card and INEC Permanent Voters Card.”
In the revised guidelines, the apex bank restricted IMTOs from outbound transfers and stated that beneficiaries of all inbound money transfers to Nigeria would be paid in naira, either in cash or through a bank account.
The Naira has witnessed a fall against the dollar in 2024, exchanging for over N1450 per dollar.
The CBN Governor Olayemi Cardoso urged Nigerians to reduce Forex transactions to ease the burden on the Naira.