EFCC Bans Dollar Transactions, Requests Embassies to Bill in Naira

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has issued a stern directive to foreign missions operating in Nigeria, prohibiting them from conducting transactions in foreign currencies and insisting on the use of the Naira for their financial activities. Additionally, Nigerian diplomatic missions abroad have been instructed to accept Naira in their financial dealings. This initiative aims to combat the dollarization of the Nigerian economy and 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 United States dollars to Nigerians and other foreign nationals in the country. This practice, according to the EFCC, violates existing laws and financial regulations in Nigeria, particularly 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.

The EFCC highlighted the significance of Nigeria’s monetary policy and economic development aspirations, emphasizing that any refusal by foreign missions to accept the Naira for consular services and comply with the country’s foreign exchange regulatory framework is not only illegal but also undermines Nigeria’s sovereignty symbolized by its national currency. The commission urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to communicate its displeasure to all missions in Nigeria and reiterate the country’s expectation for their operations to align with Nigerian laws and regulations.

Despite repeated attempts for comments, the EFCC spokesperson, Dele Oyewale, declined to provide further details. Meanwhile, the EFCC has intensified efforts to stabilize the Naira, conducting raids to clamp down on currency speculators and sanitize markets. Recent operations in the Wuse Zone 4 market in Abuja led to the arrest of some Bureau De Change operators, although resistance was encountered during the operation, resulting in gunfire and damage to vehicles. These actions reflect the EFCC’s ongoing efforts to address foreign exchange fraud and maintain economic stability.

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