The foreign exchange crises rocking the Nigerian economy has risen to a crescendo in recent times, recently FINANCIAL WATCH reported the suspension of money transfer services to Nigeria by Trans wise as a result of the unfavorable foreign exchange policies of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Bank customers receiving international money transfer directly into their domiciliary accounts have had to face a dilemma of either accepting the equivalent in naira using the official CBN rate or go through the stress of using the services of Bureau de change operators in order to tap into the booming parallel market exchange rate.
FINANCIAL WATCH findings shows that when receiving international fund transfers using western union money transfer, commercial banks consummate the transaction using the official exchange rate of N193.826 to one Dollar, which is way far less than the actual value of the dollar.
Some banks like Guaranty Trust Bank will decline paying out cash across the counter and will prefer to refer customers to their online internet service which equally uses the official rate.
Findings also show that the only international money transfer provider not ripping customers off is MoneyGram international. FINANCIAL WATCH obtained the rate from MoneyGram which is used across all banks to pay out naira equivalent to Nigerians who make use of their service. The report shows that 100 GBP in naira equivalent is N33, 596.75 when you use MoneyGram as against the official equivalent of N28, 566.52 if the same amount is received using western union. Considering the rate used by MoneyGram, it more convenient to receive money through their services.
When the drums of crashing oil prices got to a new height about nine months ago, the CBN responded with some harsh forex polices which is meant to regulate bank customers who were converting naira to dollar and depositing the proceeds in the hope that the dollar would continue to appreciate at the parallel and official markets.
The dollar crunch has been the bane of foreign investors exiting the Nigerian market. Nigeria has come under intense pressure from the international market watchers as well as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to relax the policy or face alienating Nigeria from its international trade partners. There has been calls from small businesses, manufacturing concerns, and political leaders for the CBN to find a mid-way in resolving the dollar scarcity.