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EFCC raid on BDC operators behind naira rise against dollar, says Bawa

By Sodiq Omolaoye, Abuja
18 August 2022   |   4:28 am
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday, said its recent raid on the Bureau De Change (BDC) hub in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was largely behind the naira’s significant appreciation...

EFCC Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), yesterday, said its recent raid on the Bureau De Change (BDC) hub in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) was largely behind the naira’s significant appreciation against the American dollar at the parallel market.

Its Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, stated this yesterday at a workshop on “Effective reporting of economic and financial crimes” organised for journalists covering the commission in Abuja.

Operatives of the anti-graft agency, last month, raided Wuse Zone 4 in the FCT over allegations that some Bureau De Change (BDC) operators were mopping up foreign currencies, thus making the naira to fall against the dollar.

Justifying the operation, the commission said it received intelligence that some forces with massive naira inflows had mobilised resources and were busy buying up available foreign currencies, especially U.S. dollar, to either hoard or smuggle same out of Nigeria.

Bawa noted that one achievement, which most Nigerians may not easily recognise is the impact which EFCC’s intervention in the forex market has had on the value of the naira.

“From well over N710 to the dollar, following the commission’s intervention, the naira has appreciated significantly against the dollar at the parallel market and we are not relenting in our efforts to check harmful speculative activities in the sector,” he said.

The EFCC boss also blamed systemic limitations for the delay in the determination of high-profile corruption cases in court.

According to him, the war against graft is a worthy fight for the soul of Nigeria and future generations that should not be left to EFCC alone.

“Nevertheless, there are issues in the media profiling of the commission that are less than desirable. The notion, for instance, that the commission is draconian in its approach to fighting cybercrime is perhaps borne out of poor understanding of its modus operandi,” Bawa stated.

He urged the media industry to be circumspect in its reportage of corruption cases, as it shapes global perception of Nigeria and its institutions.

Bawa continued: “It logically follows that this sacred duty is one that must be discharged with a lot of responsibility and, of course, patriotism. Some of you will recall that at the end of 2021, the commission announced that it recorded a total of 2,220 convictions. I am pleased to inform you that we are poised to improve on that figure, as the record of convictions as of August 5, 2022 was 2,210.”

Head, Legal and Prosecution Department of the EFCC, Sylvanus Tahir, in his presentation on “Challenges of prosecuting economic and financial crimes in Nigeria,” said the anti-graft agency is frustrated on several fronts, sometimes from some quarters where maximum support is highly expected.

Disclosing that the commission has over 1000 cases in court and over 3000 cases at various stages of investigation, Tahir added that prosecution expenses continue to increase due to delays associated with trials.

He stressed the need to amend the Evidence Act and Administration of Criminal Justice Act to accommodate the technological advancement and challenges of contemporary times.

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