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Dump your dollars to avoid tears and sorrow — FG warns FX speculators

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The federal government through the presidency has sent a warning signal to FOREX speculators to dump their cache of dollars as it’s optimistic about better days ahead for naira.

Nigeria’s currency has recently slid downwards against major currencies like the dollar, going for $1 to N1,500 in the parallel market.

But the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently cleared the country’s FX backlog inherited from the previous administration, a move presidential aide Bayo Onanuga said will lead to the appreciation of the naira.

“With backlog FX settled, Naira is set to appreciate further, faster. Currency speculators should quickly dump their stock of dollars to avoid sorrows and tears,” the Special Adviser to President Bola Tinubu on Media and Strategy wrote on his X handle late Wednesday.

Onanuga’s remark is one of the latest comments after the CBN said it cleared $7 billion in foreign exchange backlog.

According to the CBN’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications Hakama Sidi Ali, the apex bank employed an independent auditing firm Deloitte Consulting to assess the transactions to ensure only legal claims were honoured.

“Any invalid transactions were referred to the relevant authorities for further investigation,” she said.

Nigerian authorities have in recent months clamped down on forex speculators and Bureau de Change operators to strengthen the naira.

Last year, the CBN said it had ended the “segmentation” of forex markets, with transactions to be carried out only through one so-called “Investors and Exporters” category.

The naira will also be traded at a “willing buyer, willing seller” market rate instead of regulated rates against the US dollar and other currencies, the statement said.

“All segments are now collapsed into the Investors and Exporters window,” it said in a statement posted on its website.

The forex shakeup is just one of a raft of decisions taken by President Bola Tinubu who promised reforms to revitalise the economy of Africa’s most populous nation.

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