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The Naira has lost 25% of its value one year after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) effectively criminalised Aboki FX’s actions and accused it of “economic sabotage.”

AbokiFX served as a standard against which everyone in Nigeria could calculate the black market value of the naira. The CBN expressed displeasure with the actions and accused the firm of currency manipulation during a period of rapid naira depreciation.

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On September 17, 2021, when Aboki FX stopped reporting forex rates, the Naira was trading around N570/$; one year later, the Naira had plummeted to around N710/$. This is a 25% decrease in one year.

AbokiFX is a well-known website that previously published the Naira’s parallel market exchange rate against other currencies on a daily basis.

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Most forex traders are familiar with currency aggregating websites to help them determine the exchange rate rather than relying on BDC operators who occasionally provide inconsistent pricing.

This all changed when the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, shocked Nigerians during his monetary policy briefing on September 17th, 2021, by accusing AbokiFX of foreign currency manipulation, implying that it profited by setting black market rates that purposefully increased the price.

Mr Emefiele reiterated that their preliminary findings indicate that the website was created and is being used solely for the purpose of currency manipulation and speculation. “They get naira loans, use them to buy dollars, take a position, change the rate over a set period of time, sell the dollars they bought and profit, this is completely illegal, unacceptable, and we will pursue them,” he said.

The CBN Governor said, “It is economic sabotage and we will pursue him, wherever he is, we will report him to international security agencies, we will track him. Mr. Oniwinde, we will find you because we cannot let you continue to engage in illegal activity that is destroying our economy.”

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As a result, Mr Olumide Oniwinde, the website’s owner, issued a press release categorically refuting the claims and suspended the platform’s display of FX rates pending the resolution of the case.

“AbokiFX has decided today, September 17th, 2021, to temporarily suspend rate updates on all our platforms until we have a better understanding of the situation,” he said.

What AbokiFX has to say.

In a recent tweet, AbokiFX reminded the public that, despite the numerous accusations, they had no role in the Naira’s free fall.

“September 17, 2021. N570, September 17, 2022. N710,” Aboki FX tweeted. 366 days have passed. -25%.”

“We suspended rate publication at this time last year to test the impact on the parallel market exchange rate.” “Another 25% drop has been recorded,” it added.

What you should be aware of.

The Central Bank’s crackdown on AbokiFX’s owner was intended to protect the naira from further wild collapses blamed on speculation.
As a result, it is worth noting that the black market experienced temporary stability for approximately three weeks after AbokiFX stopped providing forex rates. Nonetheless, the Naira’s success was fleeting, as it is now experiencing a double-digit decline one year later.

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