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EFCC stops dollar transactions, asks embassies to charge in naira

Daily Post reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has issued a stern warning to foreign missions based in Nigeria, prohibiting them from conducting transactions in foreign currencies and mandating the use of the Naira for their financial activities. Additionally, Nigerian foreign missions abroad have been instructed to accept Naira in their financial operations. This directive aims to address the dollarization of the Nigerian economy and prevent further depreciation of the Naira.

In a letter addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, dated April 5, 2024, the Chairman of the EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, expressed concern over the invoicing of consular services in Nigeria by foreign missions using the United States dollar. The EFCC cited Section 20(1) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007, which designates currencies issued by the apex bank as the only legal tender in Nigeria.

According to the EFCC, the refusal of some foreign missions to accept the Naira for consular services in Nigeria and their failure to comply with foreign exchange regulations constitutes a violation of the law and undermines Nigeria’s sovereignty. This practice not only contravenes existing laws and regulations but also poses a threat to Nigeria’s monetary policy and economic development goals.

The EFCC urged the Minister of Foreign Affairs to convey its displeasure to all foreign missions in Nigeria and emphasize Nigeria’s expectation for their operations to adhere to local laws and regulations. The commission emphasized the need for foreign missions to align with Nigeria’s legal framework and avoid actions that conflict with the country’s economic policies.

Meanwhile, the EFCC has resumed raids to curb currency speculation and stabilize the Naira. Recent operations have led to the arrest of Bureau De Change operators in Abuja’s Wuse Zone 4 market. Despite resistance from some operators, the EFCC remains committed to sanitizing the market and eliminating illicit currency trading activities.

In a bid to combat foreign exchange fraud, the EFCC has intensified its efforts, recently apprehending over 35 suspected currency speculators. These actions underscore the EFCC’s determination to enforce financial regulations and safeguard Nigeria’s economic stability.