The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has issued a warning against individuals and corporate organizations using foreign currencies in the domestic economy as a means of payment for goods and services, given the current forex crisis in Nigeria and the apparent efforts to restore the value of the Naira.
The central bank brought the public’s attention to the provisions of the CBN Act, 2007, which among other things state that local money is accepted as legal tender in Nigeria and that violating this law carries a fine or a six-month jail sentence.
The attention of the Bank has been drawn to the growing use of foreign currencies in the domestic economy as a medium of payment for goods and services by individuals and corporates, according to a statement signed by the CBN director of Corporate Communications that this newspaper was able to view on Sunday. The statement advised members of the public to report any violation of the CBN Act to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the CBN for appropriate action against defaulters.
“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,” it stated.