According to reports, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has no plans to amend the Foreign-Exchange Act to provide for the imprisonment of anyone who holds foreign currencies, particularly the United States dollars, for more than 30 days.
A statement from the CBN on Monday in Abuja said the apex bank “has nothing to do with such.”
The Acting Director, Corporate Communications of the CBN, Isaac Okorafor, stressed that “the CBN, in line with its mandate, was committed to safeguarding the international value of the country’s legal tender currency.”
He then denied knowledge of the proposed clause recommending a jail term for as long as two years or a fine of 20 per cent of the amount for any holder of foreign exchange in cash.
According to him, “to the best of my knowledge, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has not proposed any bill seeking to arrest and jail persons holding foreign exchange for more than 30 days.”
He also denied that the CBN was planning to confiscate funds in domiciliary accounts of individuals, saying any such claim was false.
There have been speculations suggesting that the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria were considering imprisoning anyone who holds foreign currencies, particularly the United States dollars, for more than 30 days as a way of stemming the volatility in the exchange rate and strengthen the international value of the Naira.