NACCIMA charges CBN on new IMTOs policy

The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, mines and Agriculture, NACCIMA has called for review of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN’s new policy on International Money Transfer Operators, IMTOs, which stipulated that “(IMTOs) 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 Association, in a statement signed by its National President, Chief Dr. Bassey Edem, stated that the policy would put price control and determination in a few hands and as such create an enabling environment for sharp practices within the forex parallel market.

It declared that the policy, as contained in the CBN’s circular last week, would constitute a disincentive to the beneficiaries of the inflow and they may consider other alternatives which could be counterproductive and divert the inflows to unproductive ventures.

It added that this may lead to continuing increase in the priceof the foreign exchange.

Although the Association applauded the actions of the Apex Bank in licensing 11 additional International Money Transfer Operators, IMTOs, to operate in Nigeria, stating that it was part of efforts to liberalize the Foreign Exchange Market, ensure liquidity and make foreign exchange more readily available to low end users; it wanted the policy around the system reviewed to be beneficial to the exporters.

“We believe that this policy decision is a step in the right direction in ensuring that remittances from Nigerians in the diaspora remain a viable source of foreign exchange for the Nigerian economy.

“However, we would like to counsel that the Central Bank of Nigeria reconsider its stance in its earlier press release on selling the foreign currency proceeds direct to the Bureaux De Change operators, for onward retail to end users. We counsel that beneficiaries of foreign currency proceeds be allowed to determine when they sell their proceeds and at what rate. This will create a situation of multiple supplier/sellers to meet the existing demand in the parallel market and relieve the pressure on the inter-bank window.

“As a leading member of the Organized Private Sector, our commitment remains the
provision of an enabling environment for free enterprise and competitive markets that promote mobility of products, capital, labour and knowledge through simple, transparent and uniformly applied regulatory systems.”