By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A total of 47 companies have been issued licences to operate as International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) in Nigeria.
The organisations were authorised to operate as IMTOs in the country by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the nation’s regulatory agency for the banking industry.
On Monday, as part of its efforts to inform the general public of the authentic IMTOs in the country, the apex bank released the names of the operators.
The list contains 47 local and international organisations and notable among them are PayPal, WorldRemit, Western Union, eTranzact, Flutterwave, amongst others.
Who are IMTOs
IMTOs are companies authorised to use their channels for the transfer of funds from one country to another.
They facilitate the easy remittance of diaspora funds.
These companies play an important role in the economy of any economy. It is believed that Nigeria receive diaspora inflows worth over $20 billion annually and this has made the monetary authorities devise a means for easy inflow.
Last year, the CBN introduced a new foreign exchange (FX) policy to enable recipients of diaspora remittances to receive their funds in cash, especially in the currency it was sent.
In order to ensure this is complied with, the apex bank directed deposit money banks (DMBs) in the country to close the Naira accounts of IMTOs.
“Further to the circular to IMTOs and Payment Service Providers (PSPs) on Receipt of Diaspora Remittances: Additional Operational Guidelines referenced PSM/DIR/CON/CWO/16/119 and dated December 16, 2020, the CBN further directs that;
“DMBs are to close all Naira accounts for IMTOs. This is to ensure that all diaspora remittances are received by beneficiaries in foreign currency only (cash and/or transfers to domiciliary accounts of recipients).
“DMBs are permitted to open new operating expenses (Opex) accounts for the purposes of the IMTO operations, such as salary payments and other operating expenses excluding diaspora remittance receipts.
“DMBs must ensure that proper audit of IMTO accounts is done to forestall further use of Naira accounts for diaspora remittance purposes,” the circular, which said the directive “takes effect immediately” and asked for “strict compliance” stated.
View the full list of the CBN-licenced IMTOs HERE
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