Abdulrasheed Bawa, the Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), said that the move by the Central Bank of Nigeria to redesign and reissue higher denominations of the Nigerian currency will bring sanity to the currency management situation in Nigeria.
The EFCC boss stated this on Wednesday in a statement posted on the EFCC’s Facebook page. While applauding the move by the CBN, he said the move aligns with the objectives of the Money Laundering Prevention Prohibition Act 2022.
Recall that Nairametrics had reported that the CBN said it will start circulating newly redesigned N200, N500, and N1000 notes from December 15, 2022.
What the EFCC boss is saying
Mr Bawa described the move as a well-considered and timely response to the challenges of currency management, which has negatively impacted the country’s monetary policy and security imperatives. He said:
“The EFCC, the CBN, and some other regulators in the financial sector have worked closely in the recent past to determine how best to stabilize the country’s monetary policy environment. It is heart-warming that the CBN has demonstrated courage in taking this bold decision which I believe will bring sanity to the currency management situation in Nigeria.
“The objectives which the CBN seeks to achieve with the redesign and reissue of the higher denomination Naira notes were in tandem with the objectives of the Money Laundering Prevention Prohibition Act 2022, which criminalizes the conduct of cash transactions above a certain threshold.
“According to Section 2 (1) of the Money Laundering Act 2022 “No person or body corporate shall, except in a transaction through a financial institution, make or accept cash payment of a sum exceeding— (a) N5,000,000 or its equivalent, in the case of an individual; or (b) N10,000,000 or its equivalent, in the case of a body corporate.”
Mr Bawa admonished Nigerian financial services sector stakeholders to work within the guidelines provided by CBN to ensure the seamless withdrawal of the old naira notes.
“It is, therefore, pertinent to issue this stern warning to Bureau de Change operators to be wary of currency hoarders who would attempt to seize this opportunity to offload the currencies they had illegally stashed away.”
According to him, the EFCC will monitor the process to ensure that unscrupulous players and currency speculators and their cohorts among the BDCs do not undermine the exercise.
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