Nigeria clamps down on money transfers to the country

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Central Bank of Nigeria has suddenly changed its policy toward money transfer operators, effectively blocking many services used by Nigerians to send money to and from the country.

The decision to revoke the licenses of all but three money transfer companies was backed by a warning,issued on Tuesday, that advises Nigerians at home and abroad to “beware of the unwholesome activities of some unlicensed International Money Transfer Operators.”
Citing “the greater economic good of Nigeria,” the Central Bank stated that it will “not condone any attempt aimed at undermining the country’s foreign exchange regime.”

‘Draconian’ rules – The sudden move has created immediate backlash because it affects a large volume of money. Remittances to Nigeria totaled about $20.8 billion in 2015, according to data from Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development.

WorldRemit is an online money transfer service that launched in Nigeria 2011 and one of the companies affected by the edict. It released a statement calling the new rules “draconian” and noted that the new policy would leave only three companies able to function: Western Union, MoneyGram and Ria. Those companies have physical operations on the ground in Nigeria.

Source: CNN (link opens in a new window)

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