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Nigeria’s weekly diaspora remittances peak at $30m


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THE Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says its recent initiatives to boost foreign exchange (FX) in the country are already yielding positive results, as weekly diaspora remittances to Nigeria surged by 500 percent to 30 million dollars, from 5 million dollars.

Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, disclosed this in Abuja during the recent CBN/Bankers Committee’s initiative for economic growth hosted by the Vanguard.

He said measures put in place by the bank to increase the flow of diaspora remittances into the country using formal channels had helped to reduce the diversion of forex by recalcitrant International Money Transfer Operators (IMTOs), who had thrived from forex arbitrage arrangements, rather than on improving transactions volumes to Nigeria.

“In December 2020, we instructed all international money transfer operators to provide remitters with the option of sending foreign exchange to beneficiaries in Nigeria. Indeed, we have already seen remittances improve from a weekly average of about $5m before this policy, to over $30m per week,” Emefiele noted.

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“It is therefore imperative that we do all we can in 2021 to ensure that we build on the positive momentum and strengthen our efforts at stimulating growth. This will be a year of massive economic recovery and Nigeria must not be left out,” he added.

Speaking on the response by monetary and fiscal authorities to the impact of COVID-19 on key economic variables, the governor explained that measures were put in place to prevent the economy from going into a tailspin.

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He said the first objective of the bank was to restore stability to the economy by providing assistance to individuals, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and businesses that had been severely affected by the pandemic, as well as by the lockdown measures.

The event themed ‘How to Overcome the Pitfalls of Recession: Bankers Perspectives on an Enduring National Growth Path’ had both in-venue attendees from the financial sector, as well as virtual participants such as state governors and other dignitaries.

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