Nigeria Creates Task Force to Combat FX Speculation, Hoarding

February 20, 2024
FX Speculation

By Adedapo Adesanya

Nigeria has formed a joint task force, made up of leading law enforcement agencies such as the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), and the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU), to combat foreign exchange (FX) speculation and tackle the issues affecting the country’s economic stability.

The National Security Adviser’s Office, led by Mr Nuhu Ribadu, in collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), initiated the joint effort.

In a statement on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the NSA office, Mr Zakari Mijinyawa, disclosed that the partnership is set to include coordinated actions with others being carried out by the central bank to halt the FX crisis.

The statement pointed out that the activities of forex speculators, operating both domestically and internationally through different mechanisms, have played a significant role in the Naira’s depreciation, thereby exacerbating inflation and leading to economic instability in Nigeria.

“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.

“This partnership 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).

Earlier today, Business Post reported that the Nigerian Naira was traded against the US Dollar in the black market at N1,820/$1 after some operatives of the EFCC went after some forex traders in Abuja on Monday.

Mr Mijinyawa also noted that this cooperative endeavour signals the federal government’s serious intent to improve its Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) policies, aiming to clear its name from the grey list of the Financial Action Task Force.

“The primary objective of this alliance is to systematically identify, thoroughly investigate and appropriately penalise 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,” he said.

Nigeria is facing significant FX challenges as the supply side of the market cannot keep up with a high demand affected by low oil production, which brings in FX into the country. Despite efforts to help the currency, the underlying issues remain.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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