The Central Bank of Nigeria on Friday at the Monetary Policy Committee meeting gave the reasons for the planned closure of AbokiFX, accusing the owner of exchange rate violations.
Emefiele revealed that website owner Oniwinde Adedotun would be subject to the full wrath of the law for economic sabotage.
“On Aboki FX, yes unfortunately the Central Bank of Nigeria wrote a note to the banks and asked them to provide information on AbokiFX. We have been studying the activities of AbokiFX for two and a half years.
“There was a special time when I called our colleagues to call the supposed owner of AbokiFX. We wanted to understand his model and the basis on which he came to advertise these rates.
“We found it as a Nigerian who lives in England and produces this nefarious and criminal activity on our economy. This is economic sabotage and we will pursue it wherever it is.
Emefiele also noted that the apex bank would report it to international agencies, adding: “We will follow it, Mr. Oniwinde, we will find you because we cannot allow you to continue to carry out illegal activity which is killing our economy.”
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Emefiele, who revealed that there would be no turning back to stopping dollar sales to exchange office operators (BDCs) despite the naira’s free fall, said some people were collecting dollars from from them for the importation of weapons.
He said the CBN decided to stop selling foreign currency to BDC operators because they had become a source of foreign currency for criminals to carry out their nefarious activities.
“It is beyond my imagination that Nigerians continued with this type of practice of selling dollars to BDCS which tended to promote illegal activities as part of corrupt and corrupt practices.
“We will not support the corrupt tendencies of those who illegally buy dollars in our foreign exchange market, transport them on planes, buy arms and ammunition and bring them back into the country and commit crimes. Be it Boko Haram, banditry and other nefarious activities.
Meanwhile, the naira has been on a downward slope for some time in the parallel market and it was trading at N570 / $ on Friday.
Former CBN deputy governor Kingsley Muoghalu called on the umbrella bank to stop subsidizing imports and float the naira to determine its market value.
“The government cannot continue to set the price of the naira, which the central bank is doing. If you float the naira, you have to stop subsidizing imports. Our country is structured in such a way that it subsidizes the country’s imports. This breeds arbitration.
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Notably, the Central Bank of Nigeria has struggled to correct foreign exchange market demand, but has been weak in developing the foreign exchange market supply. Industry analysts say Nigeria’s over-reliance on oil to increase foreign exchange reserves and the forex market exposes it to greater vulnerability.
“The reason the naira is so vulnerable to devaluation is that we are not generating enough dollars. The oil market is volatile and it affects the vulnerability of the naira due to the lack of buffer. This has been our problem, ”an economist at the Center for Studies on African Economies (CSEA) Mma Ekereuche said ICIR.
She noted that the government must find a way to explore the agribusiness and manufacturing sectors in the African continental free trade in order to improve the dollar’s access to the economy while strengthening the naira.
Bank apex also announced on Friday that the monetary policy rate would be kept at 11.5% as part of the Monetary Policy Committee’s resolution.