EFCC raises 7,000-man special task force to clamp down on FX racketeers

In a concerted effort to safeguard Nigeria’s foreign exchange market and combat speculative activities, 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.

The Commission is joining force with Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and to address challenges impacting the nation’s economic stability.

The Head, Strategic Communication, Office of the National Security Adviser, ONSA, Zakari Mijinyawa, in a statement on Tuesday stated that the CBN’s proactive measures to stabilize the foreign exchange market and stimulate economic activities have been commendable.

The statement noted that 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.

According to Mijinyawa “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.

“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. This partnership will involve a coordinated effort with key law enforcement agencies, including the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), the EFCC, the Nigeria Customs Service and the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU).”

Mijinyawa said 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. 

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