The Executive Chairman of the Economics and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abdulrasheed Bawa, has praised the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to redesign and reissue greater denominations of the Naira, the country’s currency,
This was announced by the EFCC chairman on Wednesday in a statement shared on the organization’s Facebook page.
Rate Captain previously reported the CBN’s announcement that it will begin the circulation of the newly designed naira notes on December 15, 2022, a move the apex bank is taking to gain control of the currency circulation.
In reaction to the disclosure by the CBN, Bawa called the decision by the central bank “a well-considered and timely solution” to the problems with currency management that have harmed the nation’s monetary policy and security requirements.
What the EFCC is saying
The EFCC boss stressed that the goals of the Money Laundering Prevention Prohibition Act 2022, which makes conducting cash transactions over a specific amount illegal, were aligned with those the CBN hoped to accomplish with the redesign and reissue of the higher value Naira notes. 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 current management situation in Nigeria.”
“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.”
Bawa further indicated that the Commission will make every attempt to bring to justice any financial services operator who violates current rules and regulations, noting that hoarders of currency quickly made their hoard available to criminal businesses.
He said, “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.”
To ensure the smooth withdrawal of the old currency, the EFCC boss urged operators in the Nigerian financial services sector, particularly deposit money banks and bureau de change operators, to follow the rules set down by the Central Bank of Nigeria.
However, Bawa issued a warning that the EFCC will supervise the procedure to prevent the exercise from being harmed by dishonest participants, currency speculators, and their allies within the BDCs. Additionally, he urged banks to be aware of their reporting requirements and refrain from helping dishonest clients use their system to launder suspected criminal proceeds.