Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) has warned foreign exchange speculators against pushing the naira to forcefully depreciate through their illegal activities.

While giving this warning on Sunday, the President of ABCON, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe said, forex speculators were taking huge risks with their funds, as the Central Bank of Nigeria had enough financial muscle to defend the naira and close the widening gaps between official and parallel market rates.

ABCON noted that the naira had in the last few days depreciated to 480 to the dollar in the parallel market, but had remained stable at 379 to the dollar at the official CBN rate.

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According to the President of ABCON, with nearly $36bn foreign reserves, the CBN has what it takes to punish the enemies of the economy forcing the naira to depreciate through speculative activities.

Gwadabe said, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele had continued to take the right steps to achieve exchange rate stability and ensure that foreign exchange was made available to manufacturers and end-users, who needed the funds for their medical trips, school fees payment, travel allowances among others.

ABCON president acknowledged that the funding of Bureaux De Change has also helped to deepen the forex market and reduce the level of forex scarcity that always form the basis for speculative activities. With the CBN having the needed financial strength to fund the market, he opined that the rates would soon converge to save the naira.

Gwadabe added that exchange rate unification would further narrow the gap between official and parallel markets. He is of the opinion that pushing the official foreign exchange rate from N306 to N379 to the dollar by the CBN is in line with market demand because it has helped to narrow the official parallel market rates gap that formed the basis of the ridiculous speculations among unpatriotic forex dealers and speculators.

Gwadabe therefore advised the Federal Government to enhance security surveillance at the nation’s borders to checkmate illegal foreign currency cash transactions. He also called for the BDC operators’ liquidity ratios to be raised in order to discourage dollar holdings.