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Nigeria’s CBN has blocked all transfers into the country except via Western Union, MoneyGram & Ria

Drat. Nigeria’s Central Bank (CBN) recently passed a regulation that blocks almost all money transfer operators (MTOS) from making transfers into the country. “Almost all” because as of now, only three MTOs – Western Union, MoneyGram and Ria – are authorised to make transfers. At least those are the ones that have a net asset value of US$1 billion and have been operational for at least 10 years.

If you were using some other service (say, WorldRemit for instance), you’re definitely not going to like this. And you’re not alone; the other MTOs don’t like it either. WorldRemit released a statement yesterday calling for the CBN to rethink their stance.

In the words of founder and CEO, Ismail Ahmed, ‘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.

The funniest (or saddest, depending on how you want to look at it) thing about this whole mess is Nigeria receives more than $20bn in remittances annually from migrants around the world. This is basically a case of shooting yourself in the foot.

I’m no economics expert, but here’s a thread that (I think) explains what’s going on.

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