A threat to arrest and punish Nigerians who buy dollars using naira has been issued by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
At the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Lagos on Tuesday, Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the top bank, delivered the threat.
Those who unlawfully exchange Naira for Dollars will be barred from doing business in Nigerian banks, according to the country’s head banker, Emefiele.
“It is against the law to take money from banks and use it to acquire dollars. If the authorities seize you, you’ll understand the gravity of the situation,” Emefiele said.
Customers and banks are being monitored by CBN officials, and the top bank has threatened to penalize institutions that engage in unlawful activities.
Nigerian banks would no longer be able to process your transactions because of our investigation and proof. The account of the defaulting consumer will be marked as ‘post no debit’. Suppressing illicit cash transfers, whether internal or international, may be extremely damaging, as the CBN governor explained.
Central bank measures to prevent further devaluation of Nigeria’s currency and economy have prompted the warning.
At the parallel market, the naira fell to an all-time low on Monday, trading for about N620 versus the US dollar, according to Aboki Forex, a currency exchange platform.
A ban on foreign exchange transactions through bureaux de change would take effect in July 2021, the CBN announced.