The Nigerian Bankers’ Committee has said it will henceforth clamp down on naira hawkers across the country.
New naira notes hawking for a premium has been pervasive on Nigerian streets for decades, a situation the Committee described as “unacceptable.”
But rising from the 323 Bankers Committee Meeting (comprising the Central Bank of Nigeria and retail banks) on Friday in Lagos, the Committee said investigations will be launched into the situation as it was embarrassing to the nation.
Briefing journalists at the end of the meeting, Mrs. Mary Akporobome, acting managing director of Enterprise Bank, said the Committee has formerly received reports of hawking of naira notes on the streets, a situation they have resolved to arrest.
The Committee called on those involved in the act to desist or face legal charges when caught.
“We appeal to Nigerians selling or buying the naira to stop. It’s wrong and unacceptable. We will direct relevant agencies to arrest culprits,” she stated.
“It is unacceptable to us as a people. We will apply appropriate sanctions to those caught. For the sellers, they will take us to their sources and the sources will face the law as well,” Akporobome said.
The Committee also reiterated that the ban on dollar cash deposits in domiciliary accounts, a decision of the Committee, was in force even as it clarified that customers can still do transactions through their domiciliary accounts except dollar cash deposits.
The Committee however, noted that the CBN through the banks will continue to meet forex obligations to those in genuine need thus there is no need for the public to panic.
Managing director of Guaranty Trust Bank, Mr. Segun Agbaje, who spoke on this position said: “The operations of domiciliary account still remain the same. The only thing that has changed is the payment of cash into it.”
He advised those in genuine need of forex to approach the banks for the CBN window rather than resorting to bureaux de change.