Ten additional international money transfer operators (IMTOs) have been granted licenses by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as part of efforts to encourage diaspora remittances.
This bring the total number of IMTOs operating in the country to 57.
The CBN in its updated website listed the newly-licensed operators as GDM Transfer PTY Limited, Innovate 1 Pay Limited; Paysend Plc, SANAA Capital LLC (Money4 Diaspora Services LLC); Swift Payment Limited and WI-PAY Global LLC, Transfercorp Limited/VFD Group; Comot Trading Nigeria Limited, Direkt Wire UK Limited; Gabtrans UK Limited in partnership with Moneyto Limited.
Godwin Emefiele, CBN Governor, had said reforms to increase diaspora remittances into the country would support the economy and help reduce the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, if the country could have inflows of about $10 billion to $15 billion, this would have a significant effect on the economy amidst the current fiscal constraints.
The central bank has said all diaspora remittances must go through the deposit money banks rather than mortgage or fintech institutions.
The CBN governor had said: “Since I became the CBN governor, I have been hearing about the size of diaspora remittances; some say $20 billion, in fact some say it’s about $30 billion. Honestly, I have been looking for the $30 billion or $20 billion, I have not seen it.
“But this time, I have decided that I will focus to see those billions of dollars. You know what, I am not only expecting $20 billion, if we get even up to $10 billion to $15 billion, I can tell you it can help the Nigerian economy.
“Pakistan, Indonesia and others generate an average of $2 billion monthly in diaspora remittances and this has helped to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on their economy.” He also emphasised the need to introduce transparency in the administration of diaspora remittances.