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CBN takes on abokifx founder over exchange rate breaches

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is said to be investigating Olusegun Adedotun Oniwinde, the owner of abokifx, an online platform that collates exchange rates.

Oniwinde is currently facing the CBN’s hammer due to alleged illegal foreign exchange trading. He is a Chartered Accountant from South Ockendon Essex. He was born in September 1975.

He registered the company in the UK in 2015 as a sole owner but there are also other significant owners, which include Boaz Associates Limited, Esther’s Limited, ES Merchant Limited and AbokiFX, a company he founded six years ago.

He is British and resident in England with his family. Companies associated with Olusegun had at least £2,002 shareholder value and £28,087 cash in recent accounts.

“Some Nigerians do not give CBN any benefit of doubt at all. They simply believe all we do here is hunt people down. They forget that there are many unscrupulous actors in the economy,” a source close to the CBN said.

“How exactly does he collect his data? Do you know any BDCs that supply daily rates to him? Does he have staff on the ground that collect this data?

Read also: DMO finalizes plan to restructure CBN’s N10trn overdrafts to govt’

“Are we all comfortable with one unknown unlicensed man setting exchange rates in Nigeria while he lives in faraway England?

Some media reports say the CBN is investigating seven accounts belonging to Adedotun and abokiFX, vetting every forex transaction from 2019 till 2021.

“Are there unseen actors who make gains from his report on exchange rates? Why is it that he operates almost 20 accounts in Nigeria when he lives in the UK?

“Since inception of the company in 2015, he has kept filing the same cash at hand, net assets, and shareholders’ funds. (Just check UK Companies House).

“Yet, millions of Naira and thousands of dollars go through his account annually here in Nigeria. We all need to wake up and understand that economic sabotage is real and thriving in this country.

“All the CBN is doing is trying to call people out. It may burn some people but it is for the good of the entire country,” the source said.

Nigeria’s currency on Friday was quoted at N570 per dollar at the unofficial market on the abokifx platform.

At the Investors and Exporters (I&E) forex window, Naira depreciated by 0.24 percent as the dollar was quoted at N413.07/$ on Thursday as against the last close of N412.06 on Wednesday, data from the FMDQ indicated.

Currency dealers who participated in the trading session on Thursday maintained bids between N405.00 and N15.00 per dollar.

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