• Friday, April 19, 2024
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BusinessDay

CBN, ONSA partner to probe, penalise dollar speculators

Again, Customs slashes FX duty rate to N1,238/$

The the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have forged a partnership to to address the challenges posed by speculative activities impacting Nigeria’s foreign exchange market

The partnership aims to identify, thoroughly investigate, and penalize individuals and organizations involved in wrongful activities within the FX market.

Read also: CBN restricts BTA, PTA payments via electronic channels only

The collaboration, as disclosed by Zakari Mijinyawa, ONSA’s head of strategic communications on Tuesday will 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).

The ONSA said the nove is part of concerted effort to safeguard Nigeria’s foreign exchange market and combat speculative activities to address challenges impacting the nation’s economic stability.

The agncey noted that the CBN’s measures to stabilize the foreign exchange market and stimulate economic activities have been commendable, however, the effectiveness of these initiatives is being undermined by the activities of speculators, both domestic and international, operating through various channels, thereby exacerbating the depreciation of the Nigerian Naira and contributing to inflation and economic instability.

The CBN had initiated a 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, 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.

“Yet, recent intelligence reports have highlighted continued illicit activities within the Nigerian foreign exchange market, the ONSA and CBN are therefore embarking on this collaborative approach to tackle these infractions”, the statement read.

“The primary objective of this alliance is to systematically identify, thoroughly investigate and appropriately penalize individuals and organizations 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”, the statement added.