Abdulrasheed Bawa, chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), says the agency will go after persons and organisations hoarding foreign currencies, especially dollars, across the country.
According to a statement by Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC spokesperson, Bawa said this on Friday at a meeting with representatives of Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators in Abuja.
Last week, EFCC operatives raided Wuse Zone 4, federal capital territory, Abuja, over allegations that some BDC operators are mopping up foreign currencies.
Aminu Gwadabe, president of the Association of Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators, told TheCable that the “market surveillance” was done in collaboration with the association.
Speaking at the meeting, Bawa said the anti-graft agency will continue the crackdown in key commercial cities such as Kano, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Calabar.
“As part of its ongoing efforts to check the rising incidence of foreign exchange speculation which has brought pressure on the value of the Naira, the executive chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Abdulrasheed Bawa today, August 5, 2022, met with representatives of Bureau de Change Operators in the federal capital territory,” the statement reads.
“Bawa who also disclosed that the commission has intelligence linking some persons and organizations to the hoarding of foreign currencies especially the United States dollars in the key commercial cities of Kano, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Calabar, however, warned those involved to desist or risk arrest as a major offensive against the speculators is underway.”
Bawa said he called the meeting to fashion out a collaborative stakeholders’ response to brazen foreign exchange speculation, especially at the parallel market, which is “hurting the country’s monetary policy by instigating a run on the value of the naira”.
The EFCC boss said the commission would hold similar meetings with BDC operators in major commercial cities across Nigeria as well as with key players, regulators, and operators of the Nigerian financial sector.
On their part, according to the statement, the operators thanked the EFCC for the invitation and expressed optimism that the naira’s rebound may eventually see the currency return to its pre-speculation value.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, Bawa held a closed-door meeting with Idris Jere, comptroller-general of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).
The two agency heads were said to have discussed their improved synergy in the ongoing efforts to stem illegal forex speculation by foreign nationals.
On Friday, the naira closed at N428 per dollar on the official side of the market, while it exchanged for N665 per dollar at the black market in Lagos.