NSA Ribadu sets up security force to tackle ‘dollar racketeers’ responsible for naira depreciation

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NSA Ribadu sets up security force to tackle ‘dollar racketeers’ responsible for naira depreciation

By Trek Africa Newspaper  

 

The National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, has constituted a security force comprising the Nigeria Police, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Nigeria Customs Service, and Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit, to take firm measures against anyone engaged in foreign exchange market speculation.

Ribadu said the move will safeguard the safety of Nigeria’s foreign exchange market and essentially take tough measures against the actions of speculators.

According to a statement released by his spokesperson, Zakari Mijinyawa on Tuesday, the NSA directed law enforcement agencies to will work together to crack down on these activities.

He also said intelligence reports have revealed that these currency speculators have taken several measures to control the market, domestically or outside the country, thus undermining the proactive measures of the CBN to stabilise the foreign exchange market and stimulate economic activities.

The statement read; “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.

“The CBN’s proactive measures to stabilise 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.

“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.”

It added that the primary objective of the “alliance is to systematically identify, thoroughly investigate and appropriately penalise individuals and organisations involved in wrongful activities within the FX market.

“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”.

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