The Central Bank of Nigeria has threatened to arrest and prosecute Nigerians using naira to buy dollar, saying it would place a post-no debit on bank account(s) of any customer violating this rule.
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“For those taking money from banks to buy dollars, it is illegal to do so. If the security agencies hold you, you will know the implication of that,” Godwin Emefiele, CBN governor, said Tuesday at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Lagos.
He said the CBN would conduct investigations, and any individual found culpable would be barred from conducting bank transactions. Emefiele further added that the CBN would sanction commercial banks found guilty of facilitating illegal currency exchanges.
The governor’s statement has created some tension across foreign exchange markets.
Mr Emefiele disclosed the apex bank’s monitoring of customers and banks, warning that the CBN would sanction banks caught in illegal transactions.
Also Read: Naira Falls Despite CBN Intervention.
“We will conduct investigations, and we will have proof, and you will not be able to conduct transactions in any Nigerian bank. We will place ‘post no debit’ on the defaulting customer’s account. It is a very injurious tool to stop you from conducting illegal flows, either domestic or foreign currency,” added the CBN governor.
The warning followed the central bank’s efforts to prevent further deterioration of the naira’s value and the country’s economy.
The naira on Monday crashed to a historic low at the parallel market, exchanging for N620 against the U.S. dollar, according to the exchange platform Aboki Forex.
The CBN, in July 2021, stopped foreign exchange transactions with bureaux de change.