The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has issued a directive to foreign missions and Nigerian embassies, prohibiting them from conducting transactions in foreign currencies and insisting on the use of the Naira for financial activities.

This move aims to combat the dollarization of Nigeria’s economy and the devaluation of the Naira. The EFCC, in an advisory to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, expressed concern about foreign missions invoicing consular services in the United States dollar.

According to the EFCC, this practice violates Nigerian laws, 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.

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In a letter addressed to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukoyede, emphasized that any transaction conducted in currencies other than the Naira within Nigeria is illegal. The commission urged foreign missions to accept the Naira for consular services and comply with Nigeria’s foreign exchange regulations.

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The EFCC highlighted that the refusal to accept the Naira and adhere to foreign exchange regulations not only violates the law but also undermines Nigeria’s sovereignty and monetary policy, hindering the country’s economic development.

The commission called for immediate action to address this issue, emphasizing Nigeria’s desire for foreign missions’ operations to align with existing laws and regulations.

In a related development, the EFCC has resumed raids to stabilize the Naira. Recent operations included the arrest of Bureau De Change operators in Abuja’s Wuse Zone 4 market. However, some operators reportedly resisted the arrest, leading to clashes with EFCC operatives.

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The EFCC’s crackdown on currency speculators and illegal foreign exchange activities underscores its commitment to maintaining the stability of the Naira and combating financial crimes in Nigeria.