EFCC requests that embassies charge in naira and stop dollar transactions.

Foreign missions operating in Nigeria are required to use Naira in their financial transactions and are prohibited from transacting in foreign currencies by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission. 

Additionally, the EFCC has ordered Nigerian embassies abroad to accept Naira for their financial operations. 

The anti-graft agency stated that the action is intended to address the depreciation of the naira and the dollarization of the Nigerian economy. 

Therefore, the Commission requested that the government cease charging foreign missions in Nigeria for visas and other consular services rendered in foreign currencies. 

The EFCC sent a letter containing the recommendation to Amb. Yusuf Tuggar, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, asking him to forward it to all foreign embassies in the nation. 

The EFCC stated in the letter that it had to provide the advisory because it was against Nigerian laws and banking regulations to pay for consular services in dollars. 

  • In a letter titled "EFCC Advisory to Foreign Missions against Invoicing in US Dollar," dated April 5, 2024, and addressed to Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ola Olukoyede, Chairman of the EFCC, expressed his displeasure with foreign missions billing consular services in Nigeria in US dollars.

  • The Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007, Section 20(1), which declares that only money issued by the apex bank is considered legal tender in Nigeria, was mentioned by the EFCC. 

  • The letter said, "I am presenting the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission's compliments to you and would like to inform you about the commission's observation, which I find disturbing, regarding the unhealthful practice of certain foreign missions billing consular services in US dollars ($) to Nigerians and other foreign nationals in the nation. 

  • According to this, "the currency notes issued by the Bank shall be the legal tender in Nigeria for the payment of any amount on their face value." 

This assumes that any transaction in any part of Nigeria involving a currency other than the naira is illegal.

The commission went on to say that it is illegal and a threat to the nation's sovereignty, which is symbolized by its official currency, for some missions in Nigeria to refuse to accept the naira as payment for consular services, as well as for failing to follow foreign exchange regulations when calculating service costs.

 "This trend can no longer be tolerated," the letter reads, "especially in a volatile economic environment where various state and non-state actors are constantly attacking the country's macroeconomic policies." 

Given the foregoing, you might want to inform all missions in Nigeria of the commission's concern and reiterate Nigeria's demand that their operations not infringe upon the laws and regulations now in effect in the nation. 

According to diplomatic sources, some embassies were unsure if the EFCC's recommendation accurately reflected the federal government's stance as of yesterday, May 10.

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