Govt orders EFCC to probe masterminds of forex manipulation

File Photo

File Photo

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other security agencies have been mandated to investigate and identify those behind the crises experienced in the foreign exchange operations for prosecution.

Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, who disclosed this yesterday, blamed the current state of the naira on the activities of unscrupulous elements whom he said were hiding under the cloak of “market forces” to deliberately undermine the national currency.

The minister said that the activities of those behind the foreign exchange crises amount to economic terrorism and that anybody indicted must be brought to book.

According to him, those targeted in the investigation include regulatory agencies, businessmen and bureau de change operators, who he alleged, have been sabotaging the economic agenda of the present administration.

Malami noted that as a responsible government, “we cannot afford to allow such a situation anchored on unlawful alliance and criminal enterprise to continue unchecked when it is apparent that its primary objective is to sabotage the economic agenda of the present administration.

He said: “In the exercise of the powers of my office and in consonance with the policy thrust of this administration to have a zero tolerance level for corruption, I have therefore directed the EFCC and other relevant security agencies to further investigate and confirm the information already available to us.

“It has become obvious that having failed in the attempt to force devaluation, certain forces have aligned to create an artificial currency situation, whose primary purpose is to undermine the economic programme of President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

“We are witnessing manipulative, co-ordinated and speculative activities in the foreign exchange market, leading to the current wide deferential between official rate at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the parallel market rate, respectively, in a manner that defies rational economic analysis.”

The minister further said that these nefarious speculative activities exert further pressure on the naira exchange rate and have created a very wide artificial deferential between the aforesaid two rates, which are now being exploited by unscrupulous individuals and institutions.

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