EFCC targets Black Market Forex Traders As 50% Naira Weakness Worries Investors


Nigeria is taking steps to increase transparency in its foreign-exchange trading, aiming to narrow the gap between the official and unofficial rates of the naira currency.

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The Association of Bureaux de Change Operators of Nigeria has received approval from the financial crimes watchdog to publicly display the buying and selling rates of the naira against the dollar online. This move is intended to improve competitiveness and price discovery in the market, challenging the parallel market, according to Aminu Gwadabe, the group’s president.

This reversal of measures by the previous central bank leadership aims to move away from a managed exchange rate, making naira rates more visible online. The efforts to ease the country’s currency regime began shortly after President Bola Tinubu took office, but challenges persist. The naira has weakened, and the spread between the official and unofficial markets has widened due to a local scarcity of dollars.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has targeted street currency traders, accusing them of money laundering and manipulation. The central bank warned forex hawkers in September to stop betting against the naira or face sanctions. However, the inadequate liquidity in the official market has led to a substantial backlog of demand, estimated at around $5 billion by Finance Minister Wale Edun.

Despite these initiatives, the naira remains under pressure, reaching a record low of about 1,365 naira per dollar on the unofficial market. Questions linger about whether the rates published by exchange bureaux will significantly differ from those already collected by street dealers, who are also licensed operators.

The central bank had previously suspended online platforms by bureaux de change to publish their rates, citing rate manipulation. The exchange bureaux now plan to upscale an old website to serve as a challenger to other platforms in the economy, according to Gwadabe.

Godwin Okafor
Godwin Okaforhttps://naija247news.com
Godwin Okafor is a veteran Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur, and the visionary Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. With an extensive career spanning over 16 years in financial journalism, Godwin possesses a wealth of experience that seamlessly bridges both traditional and digital media landscapes. His journey in journalism commenced at Business Day, Nigeria, where he laid the foundation for his prolific career. In 2010, Godwin took a bold step by founding Naija247news Media, a platform that has since become a prominent player in delivering timely and accurate news. Educationally, Godwin Okafor holds a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the prestigious Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. His commitment to continuous learning led him to the Lagos Business School, where he further honed his skills. Additionally, he is recognized as a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania, having successfully completed the Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists. Throughout his illustrious career, Godwin has earned acclaim by winning numerous journalism awards, a testament to his dedication to excellence in reporting. Beyond his role as a Financial Journalist, Godwin Okafor wears the hat of the Chairman at Emmerich Resources Limited, the publishing entity behind Naija247news. His visionary leadership has played a pivotal role in shaping the media landscape and establishing Naija247news as a trusted source of information. Godwin Okafor's multifaceted expertise, commitment to journalistic integrity, and leadership in the realm of business journalism underscore his influential presence in both the media and entrepreneurial spheres.

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