Naira Rescue: EFCC Stops Dollar Transactions, Asks Embassies To Charge In Naira


May 11, 2024

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has issued a directive to all foreign missions in Nigeria, mandating them to cease conducting transactions in foreign currencies and instead use the Nigerian Naira for all financial transactions. This move is aimed at combating the dollarization of the Nigerian economy and preserving the value of the Naira.

In a letter dated April 5, 2024, addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, the EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukoyede, expressed the commission’s dismay and disapproval of the practice of invoicing consular services in US dollars by some foreign missions. The letter stated that this practice is an aberration and unlawful, as it conflicts with extant laws and financial regulations in Nigeria.

The EFCC cited Section 20(1) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007, which designates the currencies issued by the apex bank as the only legal tender in Nigeria. The commission emphasized that any transaction in currencies other than the Naira anywhere in Nigeria contravenes the law and is therefore illegal.

The EFCC also noted that the refusal by some missions to accept the Naira for consular services in Nigeria and comply with the foreign exchange regulatory regime in fixing the exchange rate for the cost of their services is not only illegal but also represents an affront to the country’s sovereignty, symbolized by the national currency.

This situation, the EFCC added, undermines Nigeria’s monetary policy and aspiration for sustainable economic development. The commission warned that this trend can no longer be tolerated, especially in a volatile economic environment where the country’s macroeconomic policies are constantly under attack by various state and non-state actors.

In light of this, the EFCC directed the Minister of Foreign Affairs to convey its displeasure to all missions in Nigeria and restate Nigeria’s desire for their operations to be in compliance with extant laws and regulations in the country.

In a related development, the EFCC has resumed raids on Bureau De Change operators in a bid to stabilize the Naira. Operatives of the EFCC arrested some Bureau De Change operators at the popular Wuse Zone 4 market in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Tuesday. However, traders reported that some BDC operators resisted the arrest during a sting operation, leading to gunshots and damage to the operatives’ vehicles.

The EFCC had previously arrested over 35 suspected currency speculators for alleged foreign exchange fraud and paraded over 20 BDC operators arrested in the capital city. The commission’s actions are aimed at sanitizing the market of street traders and eliminating arbitrary trading practices that undermine the Naira’s value.

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