Forex: ONSA, CBN join forces to crackdown on speculators

CBN

 

In a concerted effort to safeguard Nigeria’s foreign exchange market and combat speculative activities, the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are joining forces to address challenges impacting the nation’s economic stability.

This is contained in a statement by the Head, Strategic Communication at ONSA, Mr Zakari Mijinyawa, on Tuesday in Abuja.

Mijinyawa said the recent intelligence reports had highlighted continued illicit activities within the Nigerian foreign exchange market, saying the ONSA and CBN were embarking on collaborative approach to tackle the infractions.

He said the partnership would involve a coordinated effort with key law enforcement agencies, including the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).

According to him, the primary objective of this alliance is to systematically identify, thoroughly investigate and appropriately penalise individuals and organisation involved in wrongful activities within the FX market.

“By leveraging the expertise of these agencies, we aim to deter malicious practices, protect investor interests, and promote sustainable economic growth.

“This joint effort underscores the commitment of the Nigerian government to improving its Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework and exiting the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force.

“In addition, the efforts will make progress in ensuring a stable and transparent foreign exchange market, fostering investor confidence, and advancing the nation’s economic well-being,” he said.

Mijinyawa said that the CBN’s proactive measures to stabilise the foreign exchange market and stimulate economic activities had been commendable.

He said the effectiveness of the initiatives was being undermined by the activities of speculators, both domestic and international, operating through various channels.

These activities, according to him, is exacerbating the depreciation of the Nigerian Naira and contributing to inflation and economic instability.

“Recall that, to address the exchange rate volatility, the CBN initiated a comprehensive strategy to enhance liquidity in the forex market, including unifying FX market segments, clearing outstanding FX obligations, introducing new operational mechanisms for Bureau De Change operators.

“The CBN is also enforcing the Net Open Position limit for commercial banks, and adjusting the remunerable Standing Deposit Facility cap.

“To reduce the pressure on the naira, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has raised a 7,000-man special task force across its 14 zonal commands to clamp down on dollar racketeers,” he added.

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