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Nigeria urged to restore money transfer services

August 4, 2016 • Finance, Top Stories, West Africa

Worldremit Ismail Ahmed

Ismail Ahmed, founder and CEO, WorldRemit. (Image Source: Wired.co.uk)

According to a report via TelecomPaper, WorldRemit has called for the urgent restoration of money transfers to Nigeria as draconian new rules leave virtually all money transfer operators unable to provide services to the West African country.

The report reveals that only three companies – Western Union, MoneyGram and Ria – will be able to continue operations, following an “extreme and unexpected” move by the Central Bank of Nigeria. The company, in common with all other international MTOs, has been instructed by its local correspondents that transfers to Nigeria will no longer be processed and is, accordingly, suspending services immediately.

According to AllAfrica.com, WorldRemit founder and CEO, Ismail Ahmed said: “This move is arbitrary, inexplicable and hugely detrimental to the Nigerian diaspora who rely on hundreds of money transfer companies and banks, providing them with choice, convenience and competitive pricing.

“Even now, as we suspend our service, there is no clarity on why this sudden change has happened. If it is on the basis of new rules, there was no warning. If it is a re-interpretation of old rules, local correspondent networks and banks should have been forewarned.

“This reverses the progress made by the country when the Nigeria Central Bank banned Western Union’s exclusivity agreements that had created a near-monopolistic position in the international money transfer market. Western Union controlled 78% of the market share when CBN outlawed exclusivity agreements with local banks.”

Staff Writer

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