The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele while reading the riot act to customers on Tuesday at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in Lagos threatened to arrest and prosecute Nigerians using naira to buy dollars; saying it is illegal to do so.
“For those taking money from banks to buy dollars, it is illegal to do so. If the security agencies hold you, you will know the implication of that.”
Mr Emefiele urged Nigerians engaged in illegal exchanging of naira for dollar to stop, adding that the apex bank would conduct investigations and bar those found culpable of such transactions in Nigerian banks.
He further said that the apex bank will be monitoring customers and banks, adding that the CBN would place A “Post no Debit’ on the account(s) of any customer violating its rules.
“We will conduct investigations, and we will have proof, and you will not be able to conduct transactions in any Nigerian bank. We will place ‘post no debit’ on the defaulting customer’s account. It is a very injurious tool to stop you from conducting illegal flows, either domestic or foreign currency.”
Post No Debit (PND) is the restriction of debit transactions on a bank account on suspicious activities. These include not being able to make payments or withdrawals either from your ATM card or mobile app. However, you can receive it with the account.
This warning comes two days after the Naira crashed to a historic low at the parallel market. This new development is CBN’s efforts to prevent further deterioration of the naira’s value and the country’s economy.
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While many Nigerians might be worried, Mr Emefiele made his directive to high ranking persons and politicians looking to withdraw their naira in exchange for dollar speculations for election purposes.