The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, on Tuesday, November 8, released 21 new list of licensed International Money Transfer Operators, IMTOS, in addition to the 14 it previously approved. This brings the total number of organisations licensed to 35.
Some of the newly licensed operators include Aftab Currency Exchange Limited, AWS Malta Limited, Caperemit UK Limited, Centrexcard Limited, Colony Capital Limited among others. The new operators will join Ria, Western Union, MoneyGram, WorldRemit RANS-Fast Remittance, UAE Exchange Center LLC, Wari limited, and Home Send S.C.R.L among others to help Nigerians in Diaspora remit dollar home and boost dollar liquidity.
The apex bank also cautioned Nigerians in Diaspora against patronising illegal money transfer operators.
In a statement, its Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, said the apex bank was aware of the increasing patronage of illegal MTOs for the purpose of home remittances.
Okafor said the unscrupulous operators lure unsuspecting customers with ridiculous exchange rate, use naira accounts opened in local banks ostensibly for legal business to pay out the proceeds to the beneficiaries while channeling the foreign currencies to fund the parallel market.
He said this practice has led to non-reporting of such transactions to relevant authorities thereby undermining effective surveillance of the sector as well as leading to discrepancies in statistics on the transactions between countries of origin of remittance and Nigeria.