The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has recently enforced a policy discontinuing dollar transactions at foreign embassies situated within Nigeria. This measure seeks to mandate the usage of the Nigerian local currency, the Naira, as the sole legal tender for transactions conducted at these diplomatic outposts. A reliable source within the EFCC disclosed this development to Channels Television, confirming that the commission has issued an advisory to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, formalizing the directive for Naira-exclusive transactions at foreign missions.

This decision stems from the EFCC’s overarching objective to bolster the stability and integrity of the Naira, which has experienced significant depreciation over the past year.

The decline in value, from approximately N700 to N1,400 per US dollar, correlates with the discontinuation of various foreign exchange mechanisms during the tenure of the President Bola Tinubu administration. By mandating the use of the Naira in embassy transactions, the EFCC aims to mitigate external factors contributing to the currency’s devaluation and promote its stability in the domestic and international markets.

In a related development, the EFCC has issued a cautionary directive to compliance officers within Nigerian banks, urging them to refrain from divulging details of the agency’s investigative activities to bank customers. EFCC Chairman, Ola Olukoyede, conveyed this directive during a stakeholders’ meeting with Compliance Officers of Banks in Oyo State, held on May 7, 2024. Acting through the Zonal Director of the Ibadan Zonal Command, ACE I Hauwa Garba Ringim, the EFCC underscored the importance of maintaining confidentiality regarding investigative processes to safeguard the integrity and efficacy of its anti-corruption efforts.

In a statement released by the agency, it highlighted the detrimental impact of compliance officers’ disclosure of information pertaining to ‘letters of investigation activities’ issued by the EFCC to banks. Such premature disclosure not only compromises the confidentiality of ongoing investigations but also undermines the efficacy of subsequent legal proceedings against financial crimes and corruption cases. By emphasizing the imperative of maintaining discretion and professionalism, the EFCC aims to streamline investigative procedures, expedite legal proceedings, and enhance public trust in its anti-graft initiatives.