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Forex Crisis: SEC, EFCC target virtual manipulators in new collaboration

Acting SEC DG, Emomotimi Agama

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has vowed to collaborate with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to mitigate forex trading manipulations within the virtual space.

Acting Director General of the SEC, Dr. Emomotimi Agama, made this declaration on Tuesday during a meeting with a delegation from the EFCC, headed by Mr. Ola Olukoyede, the Executive Chairman, in Abuja.

Agama, in a statement, emphasized that as the apex regulator of the capital market, the SEC stands prepared to engage in cooperative efforts with the EFCC to uphold the national imperative of preventing the proliferation of illegal activities.

Memorandum of Understanding

He said the commission’s desire is for the two agencies to strengthen the existing Memorandum of Understanding they have and ensure it is more effective in dealing with current issues.

“We believe this form of cooperation is in the best interest of Nigerians. Only last week, we met the fintech community and we made it clear to them that the SEC will not condone illegal trading on any platform, especially P2P.

“It’s a dangerous trend and we cannot allow it to continue. This collaboration is very necessary for us to get out of this forex crisis,” he said.

Economic regulatory hub

The SEC Acting DG disclosed that the commission is planning an economic regulatory hub where it can upload requests and other regulators/sister agencies would be able to respond immediately, thereby reducing incidences of delay.

“We plan to create an economic regulatory hub where we can upload requests and other regulators can respond immediately. Time to market is very important in the work we do and we need to have information and responses in a timely manner.”

Agama noted that the SEC will do everything within its powers to ensure that markets are free from manipulation.

“We will enforce, where necessary, to send a strong message that it is no longer business as usual.

“We are examining our virtual regulations to cover all areas and are open to reviews to have a better document and a well-regulated market. we are striving to close all the gaps and this cooperation will enable us to block every gap in our bid to regulate the virtual space and give comfort to Nigerians,” he said.

Revised Capital Market Master Plan

Agama disclosed that the Revised Capital Market Master Plan, which the commission is currently implementing, is geared towards stimulating the economy and attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs).

He said the opportunities in the capital market are enormous, noting that the potential is yet to be fully tapped for economic growth.

According to him, the economy faces some challenges and the capital market is one of the avenues that can lead to economic emancipation.

He noted that the President has said he wants to re-engage the youth and that is why the commission is making efforts to ensure that the markets have the right products that can attract them.

“Whatever we can do together to improve the market and economy and send a strong message to the bad actors, we are willing to do it. It is a win-win for all of us and I assure you of our determination to work with you to ensure that economic saboteurs are not allowed to thrive,” he said.

Forex malpractices

Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the EFCC, Mr. Ola Olukoyede, had said that forex malpractices and crisis are injurious to any economy, noting that the role played by virtual traders needs to be checked.

He described the SEC as critical in the area of regulatory compliance, stating that the EFCC is ready to use the instrumentality of the SEC to stimulate the economy.

“We are enforcers and not regulators and that is why we need the SEC to ensure people play by the rules. We have done a lot in discouraging people from forex malpractices.

“The mandate of the EFCC is to enforce all economic and financial crimes in Nigeria and this is a herculean task and that is why we are collaborating with other relevant government agencies,” he said.

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