Nigerians are shocked that the Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele, is blaming the woes of Naira on Oniwinde Adedotun, the founder of Aboki FX, the online platform that publishes in real-time, foreign exchange rates.
At a media briefing on Friday, September 17, Emefiele accused Adedotun of sabotaging Nigeria’s economy by publishing the prevailing exchange rates which obtain on the street.
He even threatened the arrest of the online publisher.
Read what Emefiele said: “On Aboki FX, of course our colleague here at the Central Bank wrote a memo to banks and asked those banks to produce information about Aboki Fx.
“We have been studying the activities of the Aboki Fx in the last two and a half years.
“There was a time I asked our colleagues to call the so-called owner of Aboki FX that we want to engage him to understand his models, basis and how he came about advertising those rates.
“We find him as Nigerian who lives in England and conducts all the nefarious and criminal activities on our economy.
“It was an economic sabotage and we will pursue him wherever he is.
“We will report him to the economic agency and we will track him, Mr Oniwinde (Adedotun) because we cannot allow him to conduct illegal activities that kill our economy.
“For your information, our preliminary findings revealed the followings:
“Let me make it clear that if you are running a legitimate business and following our rules at the central bank for use of financial system, there is nothing to worry about but if for those who think they’re smart and want to sabotage the efforts of the CBN, in running this economy for the good of Nigerians and this government, we will make life very difficult for you.
“Your time has come (is up). We will continue to do our job of safeguarding the financial system for the benefit of everybody.
“Now on Aboki, the company was registered in the U.K in November 2015 and it is owned by one person who claimed in his regular findings that there are other people with significant interests in that business but he does not want to name them.
“So, who are these significant persons behind him, why are they hiding?
“These are on UK filing records and we will go there and conducts those investigations. Since inception of this business, he has continued to file the same same account to the UK government, the same £1000 cash, that is his balance sheet, one side of the balance sheet and one one side say £1000 as the total asset, debit and credit £1000 consecutively for 4 years.
“Yet, here in Nigeria, he and the company has over 25 accounts with about 8 banks in Naira and dollar, with significant turnover, also showing him mocking the system through speculative activities on Naira and collecting his proceeds in cash through a particular ATM in London.
“Our preliminary findings suggest that this website is built and being used for forex exchange manipulations and speculations.
“They get Naira loans, use them to purchase dollar, take a position, change the rate over a given period, sell the dollar and make profits.
“This is completely illegal, unacceptable and we will pursue them.
“On Mr. Oniwinde, another finding suggests that Mr Oniwinde, the owner of Aboki AFC is an illegal Fx dealer.
“Between February 2020 and May 2021 he had inflow of and sold tens of millions of Naira in Fx to several Nigerian companies and we will find those companies as well.
“In contravention of our Fx laws, because he is an illegal FX dealer, he directly benefits for the rates he quotes dealings on his website.
“We are finalising our investigations and must warn these companies that patronised him that they are also going to face our wrath.
“A few questions. Have Nigerians even asked how Aboki Fx collect his data that he publishes on his website?
“How many BDCs can claim they have either seen the staff of Aboki Fx coming to ask for daily rates or how many BDCs send daily returns on exchange rates to Aboki Fx.
“How then do they determine what the rate is and they post them illegally on their websites?
“In which other country will an unlicensed single person be the one that sets exchanges rates in that country?
“How come he sets exchange rate of our own currency. Why is he not setting exchange of Pounds to Dollars or Pounds and South African Rand or Pounds and Ghana Cedis? Why target Nigeria and yet you are a Nigerian?
“You chose to live and enjoy in London at the expense of the blood of Nigerians. You will pay for it. The CBN Act, section 2 makes it clear that only the CBN can determine the value of the Naira and yet a single and unscrupulous individual who lives in London continues to manipulate the rate for Nigerians, continues to make huge profits, continues to collect this cash from an ATM in London while other Nigerians suffer the consequences of this action.
“We will not allow this to continue again. What kind of registration does he have that allows him to do the kind of business he is doing?
“People should tell me. How exactly does he collect the data? Do you know any BDC that supplies this data?
“He should come out and give us this information. If he doesn’t come out, we will find him. I have given instructions to our experts to go after his website and let it be clear, we will go after him because we cannot allow this to continue.
“Since inception of this company in 2015 he kept filing the same cash at hand.”