The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has threatened to arrest and prosecute citizens caught purchasing dollar with the naira, noting that it is an illegal practice.
This was made public by the CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele, while speaking at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Lagos on Tuesday.
Emefiele warned Nigerians who were illegally swapping naira for dollars to halt, saying that the central bank will look into the matter and restrict anyone found guilty from using Nigerian banks to do business.
“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,” Emefiele said.
He revealed the central bank’s supervision of clients and financial institutions while announcing that it would punish banks found engaging in illicit activity.
“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 came as the central bank intensifies efforts to stop the value of the naira and the nation’s economy from further deteriorating.
According to exchange portal (website) Aboki FX, the value of the naira versus the dollar on Monday fell to a historic low, trading for N620.
The CBN had halted foreign exchange transactions with ‘Bureaux De Change’ in July 2021, in a bid to regulate the country’s financial economy.