Operatives of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) on Tuesday raided some bureaux de change (BDC) in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
The raid is against the backdrop of the continued free fall of the Nigerian naira, with the local currency plunging to N820 to the dollar on Wednesday.
Over 50 operators were also arrested by the anti-graft agency during the raid in Abuja and their shops were sealed.
The naira is currently under high selling pressure in the black market following the Central Bank of Nigeria’s announcement that the newly redesigned naira notes would be in circulation from December 15, 2022.
Though the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmad, warned the CBN of the consequences that may arise from redesigning 200-, 500- and 1,000-naira notes, President Muhammadu Buhari backed the move, saying it will help in the fight against corruption.
Buhari said he was convinced that the nation would gain a lot from CBN’s decision to redesign the naira notes.
As of the close of trading on Tuesday, the naira was said to have hit 840/$ in the black or parallel market.
According to Nairametrics’ FX tracker, the naira has lost over 28 percent of its value between January and October 2022 due to increased demand for the dollar amid sustained dollar scarcity. The naira started the year at N565 to a dollar.
The exchange rate at the Investors and Exporters window, where FX is traded officially, has also seen some systematic devaluation so far this year, moving from an average of N416/$1 last year to as high as N444/$1 as FX supply continues to dwindle in recent times.
Data tracked by Nairalytics showed that the sum of $362.7 million was traded at the official FX market last week, marking a decline from $425.3 million recorded in the previous week.
This was even significantly lower than the average of $500 and $1 billion weekly trades recorded sometime earlier in the year.