The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed switches and processors to immediately cease all local currency transfers in respect to foreign remittances through International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs).
The apex bank in a release on Wednesday, said all money market operators are to immediately disable wallets from receipts of funds from IMTOs.
The bank said following the recent policy pronouncements on relaxation of rules on foreign remittances, domiciliary accounts, it noted a material compliance by majority of market participants as beneficiaries of remittances through the IMTOs now receive their foreign currency through designated banks.
It, however, frown at the practice of few operators that continue to pay remittances in local currency contrary to the directive of the CBN.
“Payment service providers are directed to cease integrating their systems with IMTOs going forward and must prevent comingling of remittances with other legitimate transactions,” the statement said.
“All IMTOs are required to immediately disclose to beneficiaries that they exercise discretion to receive transfer in foreign currency cash or directly into their domiciliary accounts.
“A central reporting portal for all foreign remittances to be managed by the Nigerian Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS) is currently under development to improve visibility of foreign remittances flows.”
The CBN directed that all licensed institutions must comply with the new guidelines of diaspora remittances, as contravention will attract stiff regulatory sanctions including revocation of license, noting that it remained committed to promoting transparency in the administration of diaspora remittances into the country.