The Federal Government through its bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday said it will shut down the operations of ‘Aboki FX’ over the exchange rate.
‘Aboki FX’ is a website that provides currency exchange information, which the apex bank has described as an illegal platform.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, stated this after the Monetary policy committee’s two-day meeting in Abuja, revealing plans to arrest and prosecute the owner of the platform, Olusegun Oniwinde.
Emefiele accused Oniwinde of sabotaging Nigeria’s economy, vowing that Nigerian government would collaborate with other security agencies to track him down.
“I have given instructions to our experts to go after his website and let it be clear that we will go after him because we can’t allow this to continue,” he said.
“There was a particular time I asked our colleagues to find the so-called owner of ‘Aboxi FX’ that we want to engage him to understand his module, his basis and how he came about advertising those rates.
“We find him as a Nigerian who lives in England and conducts this nefarious and criminal activity on our economy. It is an economic sabotage and we will pursue him. Where ever he is, we will report him to international security agencies. Mr Oniwinde, we will find you!”
The CBN boss also decried the security challenges in the country, lamenting that Bureau de Change operators were encouraging kidnapping, banditry and terrorism though the sale of FOREX.
He, however, noted that the apex bank will not continue to sell FOREX to people who purchase arms to hurt Nigerians.
According to Emefiele, the financial markets regulator is determined to eliminate the activities of illegal FOREX traders.
Speaking further, the CBN boss restated that the apex bank is the only national bank in the world that will dip its hand in the country’s reserve to sell foreign exchange to Bureau de Change operators in the market.
“Nobody ever mentions the rate of Bureau de Change in the city of London. It really beats my imagination that Nigeria carried on with this kind of practice that tended to support illegal activities of people who are involved in graft and corrupt practices,” the CBN boss added.
“We have supported the activities of those who illegally buy foreign exchange from this illegal market, carry them in aircraft out of the country and go to buy arms and ammunition and bring them into the country to commit crimes.
“We, the Central Bank, take our country’s dollars and sell to people to buy arms and ammunition to come and hurt us. That is what we are saying that people want us to do, we cannot do that any longer.”