AbokiFX: BDCs halt exchange rate publication, naira slides further

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The naira defied all interventions and continued sliding against other currencies, exchanging 580 to the dollar at the parallel market on Monday. The rate was N570/$ on Friday.

In another development, the official website of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s licensed Bureau De Change operators, www.naijabdcs.com, used for the publication of exchange rates of the naira to other currencies did not publish rates on Monday.

This followed the suspension of foreign exchange publication by AbokiFX on Friday evening, after the CBN vowed to clampdown on the website, the owner and its patrons.

Despite efforts by the regulatory authority to salvage the local currency, the naira lost of margin of not less than 40 to the dollar in a week.

At the CBN’s official market, the naira hit a high of 415/$ but closed at 413.68/$ at the I&E forex window on Monday.

The President, Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, was yet to pick his call or respond to messages on why naijabdcs.com did not publish daily exchange rates.

During a webinar earlier in the year which was organised by ABCON in partnership with the CBN and other financial regulatory bodies, Gwadabe had said, “ABCON is working with its consultants to revamp the naijabdcs.com to MyBdc.com.

“This will make the site transactionary, informative and to finally nib abokifx.com in the bud.”

According to him, the recognition of the role of BDCs in Nigeria’s financial sector remained the first step to building a sustainable and viable forex market that was comparable to what was obtainable in other developed economies.

It would be recalled that ABCON launched www.naijabdcs.com in 2018 to provide data of different rates, names, contacts and locations of the CBN licensed BDCs, as well as for other digital forex services.

Ever since, the website had furnished the public with rates in the parallel market, the way abokiFX had done.

But after the suspension of exchange rates publication on abokiFX, the BDCs’ website did not publish its daily rates.

Some of the operators in the black market who spoke to our correspondent said that they were buying the dollar at N565 to N570 and selling between N575 and N580.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had gone tough on abokiFX, after accusing the website and its owner of manipulating the currency to sabotage the economy.

Emefiele said, “Our preliminary findings show that his website is being used for foreign exchange manipulation and speculation.

“They get naira notes, use it to purchase dollars, take a position, change the rate over a given period, sell the dollars they purchase and make a profit. This is completely illegal; it is unacceptable and we will pursue them.”

Since then, abokiFX had suspended the publication of the naira exchange rates.

SOURCE : PUNCH

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