Through the new foreign exchange policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, the remittances into the country has increased to about $30bn weekly.
The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele said this on Friday during the 2021 Bankers Committee Summit held in Lagos.
He also assured exporters of unfettered access to their foreign exchange earnings.
The $30bn is an upward growth from the $5bn recorded weekly before the CBN amended procedures for receipt of Diaspora remittances and a renewed focus on boosting non-oil export foreign exchange earnings.
Last year, the apex bank said beneficiaries of Diaspora remittances through International Money Transfer Operators would receive such inflows in foreign currency (US Dollars) through the designated bank of their choice.
Such recipients of remittances may have the option of receiving these funds in foreign currency cash (US Dollars) or into their ordinary domiciliary account.
Also the apex bank had directed International Money Transfer Operators to deposit Diaspora remittances into the accounts of the beneficiaries.
Emefiele said, “Recalcitrant IMTOs who have thrived through FX arbitrate arrangement rather than improving transaction volumes in Nigeria. In deed we have already seen remittances improve from a weekly from as low as $5bn to as high as $30bn and we are still moving.
“We believe these measures will help to significantly boost inflows of foreign exchange and create much more liquidity in that space.”
The apex bank has a policy that requires exporters to repatriate exports proceeds within 90 days for oil and gas and 180 days for non-oil exports. Failure to do that constitutes a breach of the extant regulation.
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry had called on the CBN to give exporters unrestricted access to their export proceeds.
The Director General of the chamber, Muda Yusuf had told THE WHISTLER that the disparity of rates across the three exchange windows made it unfair for the CBN to insist that exporters must exchange their proceeds at the Investors’ and Exporters’ foreign exchange window rate, when they could mutually agree on a rate with their various banks.
Emefiele said, “We intend to aggressively extend our growth of non-oil intervention fund from current N500bn size to stimulate more exports, under existing rules and regulations; exporters will have access to their remittances.”
The apex bank governor admitted that 2020 was a very tough year for the global economy as a result of the pandemic.