EFCC Directs Foreign Missions in Nigeria to Halt Dollar Transactions, Embrace Naira

By Olaide Ajibola, JKNMedia Reporter

CHAIRMAN of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede, has issued a directive to foreign missions operating in Nigeria, compelling them to cease conducting financial transactions in foreign currencies and instead adopt the Nigerian naira for their businesses.

This decision is part of efforts to combat the dollarization of the Nigerian economy and stabilize the value of the naira.

The EFCC expressed its concern over the invoicing of consular services in US dollars by some foreign missions, deeming it illegal and in violation of existing Nigerian laws and financial regulations.

In an advisory addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, the EFCC Chairman emphasized the necessity of adhering to the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007, which stipulates the naira as the only legal tender in the country.

This advisory comes amidst ongoing enforcement actions by the EFCC to curb currency speculation and stabilize the naira exchange rate.

Recent operations have seen the arrest of Bureau De Change operators and suspected currency speculators involved in alleged foreign exchange fraud.

However, resistance from some traders during these operations has led to incidents of gunfire and damage to EFCC vehicles.

In addition to its crackdown on illegal currency trading, the EFCC has urged the Nigerian government to prohibit foreign missions from charging visa and consular service fees in foreign currencies.

The commission contends that this practice undermines Nigeria’s monetary policies and hampers efforts towards sustainable economic development.

While the EFCC has cited legal provisions to support its directive, there remains uncertainty within diplomatic circles regarding whether this reflects the official stance of the federal government.

Nevertheless, the EFCC’s stance stresses its commitment to upholding Nigeria’s financial integrity and sovereignty symbolized by the national currency, the naira.

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