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Use Of Foreign Currency In Local Transactions Is Punishable By Jail-Term – CBN

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The Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 warned Nigerians against making use of foreign currencies, especially the US Dollar as a form of exchange in the country, stating that those engaging in the act were risking a six-month jail term.

Speaking via a statement issued by its Director of Corporate Communications, Ibrahim Muazu, the CBN said the the action contravened the provisions of the 2007 CBN Act, adding that members of the public should report individuals engaging the such transactions to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)

The statement read: “The attention of the bank has been drawn to the increasing use of foreign currencies in the domestic economy as a medium of payment for goods and services by individuals and corporates.

“It has also been observed that some institutions price their goods and services in foreign currencies and demand payment in foreign currencies rather than the domestic currency (the naira), which is the legal tender in Nigeria.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the attention of the general public is hereby drawn to the provision of the CBN Act of 2007, which states inter-alia that ‘the currency notes issued by the bank shall be legal tender in Nigeria…for the payment of any amount.

“Furthermore, the Act stipulates that any person(s) who contravenes this provision is guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a prescribed fine or six months imprisonment.

“This prohibition, however, is without prejudice to foreigners, visitors and tourists who are encouraged to continue to use their cards for payments or exchange their foreign currencies for the local currency at any of the authorised dealers’ outposts.

“The general public is hereby advised to report any contravention of the provision of this Act to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and the CBN for appropriate action.”

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