The Federal Government accuses people/enterprises it branded “economic terrorists” for the ailing state of the Nigerian currency and the economic crisis in the country.
The allegation made by Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, while briefing news anchors in Abuja, says that government cannot tolerate deliberate attempts by such people or enterprises who’s primary objective is to sabotage the economic agenda of the present administration.
According to Mr Malami, “such unlawful alliance and criminal enterprise would not continue unchecked.”
The AGF further alleged that the elements (economic terrorists), having failed in their attempts to force devaluation of the Naira, aligned to create an artificial currency situation whose primary purpose was to undermine the economic programme of Buhari’s administration.
Mr Malami in his statement noted the manipulative and coordinated activities in the foreign exchange market has led to the current wide differential between the official foreign currency rate at the Central Bank of Nigeria and the parallel market, respectively, in a manner that defies rational economic analysis.
These nefarious speculative activities, he said, exert further pressure on the Naira exchange rate and have created a very wide artificial differential between the aforesaid two rates which are now being exploited by unscrupulous individuals and institutions.
The Attorney General also said the differential has given rise to sharp practices and rent, seeking activities by these entities that run contrary to various provisions of the laws governing the conduct of the foreign exchange market and our anti-money laundering regime.
He said some of the noticed infractions included round-tripping of foreign exchange sourced from the Interbank Market, rendition of false foreign exchange utilisation data, non-repatriation of export proceeds, among others.
In consonance with the policy thrust of this administration to have a zero-tolerance level for corruption, I have therefore directed the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission and other relevant security agencies to further investigate and confirm the information already available to government about the nefarious activities of these elements within and outside our national institutions.