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Nigerian Central Bank Threats Force Parallel Exchange Rate Tracker to Suspend Service


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Following threats from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the management of Abokifx, a website that tracks the Nigerian currency’s black market exchange rates, has announced the suspension of their daily updates. This suspension will remain in effect until Abokifx gets “better clarity of the situation,” management said on September 17, 2021.

Tracking of Parallel Market Rates ‘Undermining’ Nigerian Economy

Abokifx’s decision came shortly after the end of the CBN’s monetary policy committee meeting on the same day. In his remarks to journalists following the meeting, governor Godwin Emefiele accused the publisher of the tracking site, Oniwinde Adedotun, of carrying out an “illegal activity that undermines the economy.”

In addition, Emefiele suggested that the CBN was now tracking down Adedotun whom it accuses of “publishing arbitrary rates without contacting Bureaux de Change.”

However, in its own statement, Abokifx rejects the allegations the site is orchestrating the naira’s fall on the parallel market. The statement explains that Abokifx, which was established in 2014, is doing what it was set up to do — conducting market research and gathering data on the parallel market rates.

In a direct response to Emefiele’s allegations, Abokifx also denies that some of its personnel are fueling the naira’s freefall. The statement explained:

Abokifx purely provides benchmark parallel rate information which helps guide users in almost 200 countries across the world. Abokifx does not trade forex, which we have always maintained in our emails and social media platforms.

Abokifx Accounts Not Yet Closed

Furthermore, Abokifx insists in the statement that it neither trades forex nor has the power to manipulate rates. Instead, the rate tracking site only publishes what it sources on the streets of Lagos and according to what was gathered on September 17, the naira had plunged to a new low of N570 versus one U.S. dollar.

Abokifx claims that “outside the media allegation,” it has not received “any communication from any government body and our accounts are not closed as stipulated in the media.” It is unclear whether the CBN actually plans to apprehend Adedotun who is believed to be in the United Kingdom.

Do you agree with what Emefiele has said about Abokifx? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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