EFCC stops dollar transactions, asks embassies to charge in naira

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has issued a stern warning to foreign missions operating in Nigeria, prohibiting them from conducting transactions in foreign currencies and mandating the use of the Naira in their financial dealings.

EFCC stops dollar transactions, asks embassies to charge in naira

Furthermore, the EFCC has instructed Nigerian foreign missions situated abroad to accept payments in Naira for their financial operations.

This initiative, according to the EFCC, aims to address the widespread use of the dollar in Nigeria’s economy, which has led to the depreciation of the Naira.

In an advisory addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, titled “EFCC Advisory to Foreign Missions against Invoicing in US Dollar,” the anti-graft agency expressed concern over the practice of some foreign missions invoicing consular services in US dollars to Nigerians and other foreign nationals within the country.

“This practice is irregular and unlawful as it contradicts existing laws and financial regulations in Nigeria. According to Section 20(1) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007, only currencies issued by the apex bank are recognized as legal tender in Nigeria.

“It stipulates that ‘the currency notes issued by the Bank shall be the legal tender in Nigeria on their face value for the payment of any amount.’

“This implies that any transaction conducted in currencies other than the Naira within Nigeria violates the law and is thus deemed illegal.”

The commission emphasized that the refusal of some missions to accept the Naira for consular services in Nigeria and their failure to adhere to the foreign exchange regulations in determining the cost of their services is not only illegal but also undermines the country’s sovereignty represented by its national currency.

This situation, the EFCC added, undermines Nigeria’s monetary policies and its pursuit of sustainable economic development.

The advisory further stated, “This trend cannot be tolerated any longer, especially in a volatile economic environment where the country’s macroeconomic policies are consistently challenged by various actors, both domestic and foreign.

“In view of the above, you are encouraged to communicate the commission’s dissatisfaction to all missions in Nigeria and reaffirm Nigeria’s expectation for their operations to comply with existing laws and regulations in the country.”

When approached for comments, the EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, declined to provide any statement. Meanwhile, the EFCC has resumed crackdowns in an effort to stabilize the Naira.

EFCC operatives arrested several Bureau De Change operators at the popular Wuse Zone 4 market in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Tuesday. However, some BDC operators reportedly resisted the arrest during a sting operation.

The operatives conducted routine raids to cleanse the market of street traders and curb unauthorized trading. However, this particular operation faced resistance on Tuesday, resulting in gunshots and damage to the operatives’ vehicles. Earlier, the commission had arrested over 35 suspected currency speculators for alleged foreign exchange fraud.

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