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EFCC Clamp down on Dollar Transactions, Mandates Use of Naira for Foreign Missions
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EFCC Clamp down on Dollar Transactions, Mandates Use of Naira for Foreign Missions

May 11, 2024

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has issued a stern warning to foreign missions operating in Nigeria, instructing them to cease dollar transactions and conduct financial activities exclusively in Naira.

Expressing concern over the dollarization of the Nigerian economy and the devaluation of the Naira, the EFCC has mandated Nigerian embassies abroad to accept Naira for their financial transactions.

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 denounced the practice of invoicing consular services in dollars by some foreign missions, labeling it as unlawful and contradictory to Nigerian financial regulations.

Citing Section 20(1) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007, which designates currencies issued by the apex bank as the sole legal tender in Nigeria, the EFCC emphasized that transactions conducted in currencies other than the Naira within Nigeria are illegal.

In a letter dated April 5, 2024, addressed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, EFCC Chairman Ola Olukoyede expressed dismay over the invoicing of consular services in dollars, describing it as a violation of Nigerian law.

The EFCC underscored the importance of safeguarding Nigeria’s sovereignty symbolized by its national currency and emphasized the adverse effects of such practices on the country’s monetary policy and economic development aspirations.

The commission urged the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to convey its displeasure to all foreign missions in Nigeria and reiterated Nigeria’s expectation for their operations to comply with existing laws and regulations.

Meanwhile, in a bid to stabilize the Naira, the EFCC has resumed raids targeting currency speculators and illegal foreign exchange activities. Recent operations led to the arrest of Bureau De Change operators in the Wuse Zone 4 market in Abuja. However, resistance was encountered during the operation, resulting in gunshots and damage to vehicles.

This crackdown follows the commission’s previous arrests of over 35 suspected currency speculators for alleged foreign exchange fraud.

Despite declining to comment on the matter, the EFCC’s actions signal a renewed effort to combat illicit financial activities and promote compliance with Nigerian laws within the financial sector.

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