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ONSA partners CBN to crack down on FOREX speculators both domestic and international



In an effort to safeguard Nigeria’s foreign exchange market and combat speculative activities, the Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, has partnered the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to address challenges impacting the country’s economy.

In a statement on Tuesday, the ONSA’s Head of Strategic Communication, Zakari U. Mijinyawa, said the move became necessary in order to stabilize the foreign exchange market and stimulate economic activities.

While commending the CBN’s proactive measures to stabilize the market, the ONSA lamented that these initiatives were being undermined by the activities of speculators, both domestic and international.

According to Mr Mijinyawa, these speculators are operating through various channels, thereby exacerbating the depreciation of the Nigerian Naira and contributing to inflation and economic instability.

He said: “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, 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.”

Speaking further, Mr Mijinyara disclosed that the partnership would involve a coordinated effort with key law enforcement agencies, including the Nigeria Police Force, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU.
“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 noted.

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