The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has lamented over the rates international money transfers are done in foreign currencies by Nigerians, saying it is detrimental to naira.
This was disclosed by the Director, Trade and Exchange, CBN, Ozeomena Nnaji. She explained that the remittances in the diaspora between January 2016 and December 2019 are currently being investigated by three committees.
Nnaji said that Nigeria has a spending policy that guides its currency because of the effect of spending foreign currency in Nigeria has on the value of the naira. She said when money comes in as either dollars or euros, it is important to exchange it and get the naira currency as this promotes the naira value and the exchange rate stability.
“If the dollar and euro are everywhere, what happens to our currency, the Naira now is not an internationally accepted currency, if we dilute it, it will have consequences. We want our Naira to be acceptable by other West African countries; we want it to be an internationally accepted currency.
“If we have more funds come in as remittances, our foreign reserves go up, and when that happens, the confidence in the Nigerian economy will go up. It helped in price stability and exchange rate stability management and that the apex bank was interesting in increasing Diaspora remittances,” Nnaji added.
Nnaji while speaking further hinted on the World Bank report that says Nigeria received 25 billion dollars Diaspora remittances in 2019. According to her, the CBN only received 10 million dollars between 2016 and 2019.
“If the World Bank says 25 billion dollars for 2019; their formula for calculating is based on cash, kind and trend analysis. “What the CBN counts is the physical cash that comes in through the banks and International Money Transfer Operators,” she said in a report by the Vanguard.
According to the world bank, Nigeria’s foreign remittances are estimated at $25 billion as of 2019 and remain one of the highest in the world. CBN data also reveals Nigeria’s visible and invincible import stood at $38 billion as of October 2019 (Invincible was $25 billion). It was $40.8 billion for the entire 2018.