EFCC to arrest Establishments such as Hotels and Supermarket charging Customers in Dollars

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has issued a resounding warning to establishments such as Schools, Hotels, Supermarkets and others engaging in the illegal practice of charging for services in dollar (USD) or any foreign currencies (such as EUR and GBP) within the country.

Chairman Ola Olukoyede delivered the stern message in the latest edition of EFCC Alert, declaring a zero-tolerance policy towards the dollarization of the economy. He skipped no words, stating indisputable that such actions would be treated as criminal offenses under Nigerian law.

Olukoyede’s message reverberated with a promise of swift action, warning schools, supermarkets, hotels, and others engaged in this illicit practice that the EFCC was closing in. He underscored recent arrests made in connection with such violations and emphasized the gravity of the offense.

“Schools that charge Nigerians in dollar, supermarkets that trade in dollar, estate developers that sell their property in dollar, hotels that are invoicing in dollar, we are coming after you and we have made arrests in that area,” he declared. “Our law does not allow for the use of foreign currencies within our local economy, and we will prosecute offenders to the fullest extent.”

The EFCC’s commitment to eradicating illegal forex trading resonated throughout Olukoyede’s address, aligning with efforts by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to restore order to the currency market. Stressing the importance of proper licensing and regulation, Olukoyede left no doubt about the EFCC’s determination to ensure compliance with the law.

But the battle against economic crimes doesn’t end there. Olukoyede also condemned the supports some Nigerians offer to criminals under investigation, urging citizens to stand with the EFCC in its fight against corruption. He decried the undermining of the agency’s efforts through media propaganda and physical attacks, calling for unity in the face of corruption’s corrosive effects on society.

Highlighting the urgency of the situation, Olukoyede urged the National Assembly to establish special courts to expedite corruption cases. He stressed that extraordinary measures were necessary to tackle corruption effectively, signaling a plea for legislative support in this critical endeavor.

The backdrop to this crackdown is the economic strain caused by the depreciation of the Naira and the resultant liquidity crisis in the foreign exchange market. With the Naira losing over 70% of its value since the introduction of the FX unification policy, the urgency of EFCC’s actions becomes clear.

The EFCC’s task force, deployed across its zonal commands, stands as a rampart against abuses and distortions that threaten Nigeria’s economic stability. Recent apprehensions in Lagos and Port Harcourt underscore the agency’s resolve to safeguard the economy from the potential risks of illegal foreign currency trading.

In the face of these challenges, the EFCC remains undiscouraged, signaling its unwavering commitment to upholding the rule of law and ensuring a fair and just economic landscape for all Nigerians.

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