By Omodele Adigun and Uche Usim, Abuja
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday licensed 11 new International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOS) to operate in the country.
According to its acting Director of Corporate Communications, Mr Isaac Okorafor, the new IMTOS are Trans-Fast Remmitance LLC, WorldRemit Limited, UAE Exchange Centre LLC; Wari Limited and HomeSend SCRL. Others are Small World Financial Services Group;Weblink International Limited and Cashpot Limited. The rest are DT&T Corporation Limited; Fiem Group LLC DBA Ping Express andCP Express Limited.
Okorafor explained in a statement that the move was part of “efforts to liberalise the foreign exchange market, ensure liquidity and make foreign exchange more readily available to low end users.”
He added: “The CBN also wishes to reiterate it’s commitment to providing an enabling environment for international money transfer services in Nigeria”.
Recall that the apex bank, early this month issued warning to Nigerians all over the world to be on their guard always and shun the services of unlicensed International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs)
A statement by the bank, explained that the activities of some unregistered IMTOs, whose unscrupulous modes of operation constituted danger to the economy should be monitored.
It, therefore, called on all financial service providers in the country and overseas to be duly registered in order to protect both the customers and the financial system as well as to ensure the credibility of financial transactions.
The statement entitled ‘Beware of Unregistered Money Transfer Operators’read in part:
“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) wishes to advise Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora to beware of the unwholesome activities of some unlicensed International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs) in Nigeria.
“This warning has become necessary because of the activities of some unregistered IMTOs, whose modes of operation are detrimental to the Nigerian economy.
All financial service providers in Nigeria, just as in other jurisdictions, are required to be duly licensed in order to protect both customers and the financial system as well as to ensure the credibility of financial transactions.
“ For the avoidance of doubt, all licensed International Money Transfer Operators, in line with the CBN Circular on the sale of foreign currency proceeds of July 22, 2016, are required to remit foreign currency to their respective agent banks in Nigeria for disbursement in Naira to the beneficiaries while the foreign currency proceeds are to be sold to Bureaux De Change operators, for onward retail to end users.
The Central Bank of Nigeria will therefore not condone any attempt aimed at undermining the country’s foreign exchange regime.
Accordingly, members of the public are advised to beware of the activities of such unregistered IMTOs for the greater economic good of Nigeria.”