The Central Bank of Nigeria has threatened to arrest and prosecute Nigerians using naira to buy dollars.
“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.
Reading the riot act to bank customers, Mr Emefiele urged Nigerians illegally exchanging naira for dollar to stop, adding that the apex bank would conduct investigations and bar those found culpable from conducting transactions in Nigerian banks.
Mr Emefiele disclosed the apex bank’s monitoring of customers and banks, warning that the CBN would sanction banks caught in illegal transactions.
“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.