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We’re not obligated to ban foreign missions’ financing – EFCC



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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has said it is not the agency’s call to ban or direct foreign missions on how they should handle their finances.

The Acting Director of Public Affairs for the EFCC, Wilson Uwujaren, stated this in an interview with Arise Television.

“I don’t think it’s the place of the EFCC to ban or direct foreign missions in the manner or way they handle their finances.

“We recognise as a commission that foreign missions as representatives of their home countries enjoy certain diplomatic privileges by international law and the commission, it’s not our place to want to interfere with some of the privileges that they enjoy under international law.

“It is not within the remit of the EFCC to either ban or direct foreign missions in the manner or way they handle their finances,” Uwujaren said.

According to him, there were concerns about certain practices observed in the handling of consular services by foreign missions, particularly the invoicing in dollars and determining exchange rates with Nigerians and foreign nationals.

The anti-graft agency said such practices conflict with existing laws and regulations in Nigeria, and compelled the EFCC to notify the missions of such practices through the ministry of foreign affairs.

Uwujaren said, “What actually happened is that the commission overtime observed that a number of the foreign missions by the manner and way they handle their consular services, a number of them have engaged third parties to carry out consular services on their behalf and those third parties have been invoicing in dollars.

“Some even went to the rigorous extent of determining the exchange rate of the naira in the course of their transactions with Nigerians and foreign nationals based in Nigeria. And we thought that practice conflicts with extant laws and regulations in Nigeria and we felt compelled to bring this practice to the knowledge of the missions through the ministry of foreign affairs.”

Uwujaren further stated that the EFCC never wrote any letter to any foreign mission, but issued an advisory to the ministry of foreign affairs.

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