Nigerians who are stockpiling dollars and other foreign cash have been threatened with arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The threat was made by Abdulrasheed Bawa, the head of the anti-graft agency, on Friday, August 5 in Abuja during a meeting with representatives of Bureau De Change operators.
This is in response to the anti-graft agency’s continued attempts to stop the growing instances of currency speculation, which have put pressure on the naira’s value.
“The Commission has intelligence linking some persons and organisations to hoarding foreign currencies, especially the United States dollars, in key commercial cities of Kano, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Calabar.
We warn those involved to desist or risk arrest as a major offensive against the speculators is underway,” he said.
The head of the EFCC urged those who had a tendency of stockpiling foreign currency to stop doing so or face being arrested since a big offensive against speculators was under progress.
Specifically at the parallel market, which was harming the nation’s monetary policy by causing a decrease in the value of the naira, the meeting, he said, had been called to devise a cooperative stakeholders reaction.
Similar gatherings are scheduled for Bureau de Change operators in other important commercial centers around the nation, involving important participants, regulators, and operators in the Nigerian financial industry, according to the anti-graft agency.
The dollar has been increasing in value on the underground market in Nigeria since the beginning of August. In the parallel market last week, the exchange rate of the naira to the dollar was N710. Due to the EFCC’s forced raids on several Abuja forex markets, the value of the currency recovered to that which had been speculated.
After a few days, the Bureaux de Change (BDC) hub in Abuja was besieged by security officers. The black market rate of the naira increased to N660 per dollar.