News Column

CBN Launches Outbound Money Transfer

August 18, 2014

Mathias Okwe



THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) yesterday launched the first international outbound money transfer channel which will allow transfer of funds overseas from Nigeria using the Naira currency instead of the Dollar or other foreign exchange denominations.

Following this initiative, an opportunity has also been provided for people without bank accounts to transfer funds overseas to either wards or dependants as they can now do so with the more than 500 Western Union agents and accredited Bureaux de Change across Nigeria.

For now however, transfers up to the limit of the equivalent of $2000 only is allowed as the apex bank said it needs to gauge the mode and reasons for transfers.

CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, yesterday, commended the initiative of the Western Union in partnering the First Bank of Nigeria for launch of the outbound money transfer, saying it was in line with the apex bank's payment systems innovation. He said it would address the pressure on the Naira and help the country to assess the quantum and nature of remittances from Nigeria outside of the banking system.

He spoke while performing the official launch in Abuja at the Comassie Regional Headquarters of First Bank. The ceremony was attended by the Western Union Regional Vice President for Africa, Ms. Aida Diarra, and First Bank's Group Executive in Charge of Technology and Services, Mr. Akin Fanimokun.

Emefiele expressed the concern that the Nigerian Naira is perpetually under pressure because until this new transfer window opportunity, anybody wanting to send money overseas would be forced to do so with foreign exchange, hence they resort to Bureaux De Change in pursuit of that .

But now, he said all BDCs who fulfill their new licensing requirement can also become agents of the Western Union in the outbound transfers and the apex bank would guarantee them up to N10 million.

The CBN Governor gave further insight to the plan, as well as its scale : "Today, outbound money transfer service is being launched to provide an alternative channel of foreign exchange transfer to serve the needs of small foreign exchange end-users and simultaneously reduce the amount of foreign exchange sourced from official forex windows.


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Source: AllAfrica


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