The CBN has issued a press release warning businesses and individuals who seek to “dollarise” the economy by requesting for payment of goods and services in dollars or any foreign currency. The bank also threatened to seek for jail term against any such persons. The CBN has been talking tough lately and issuing out strong circulars akin to capital controls in a bid to reduce the speculation and unqualified demand for the dollar that has continued to hurt the naira. Here is the press release below;
THE — USE OF FOREIGN CURRENCY AS A MEDIUM OF EXCHANGE IN NIGERIA
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 payments 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 provisions 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 currency for local currency at any of the authorized dealers’ outpost.
The general public is hereby advised to report any contravention of the provision of this Act to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for appropriate action.