FG To Clamp Down On ‘Aboki FX’ Website Over Exchange Rate

A file photo showing the CBN headquarters in Abuja. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Federal Government through its bank, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Friday said it will shut down the operations of ‘Aboki FX’ over its posting of exchange rates.

‘Aboki FX’ is a website that provides currency exchange information, which the apex bank has described as an illegal platform.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, stated this after the Monetary policy committee’s two-day meeting in Abuja, revealing plans to arrest and prosecute the owner of the platform, Olusegun Oniwinde.

Emefiele accused Oniwinde of sabotaging Nigeria’s economy, vowing that Nigerian government would collaborate with other security agencies to track him down.

“I have given instructions to our experts to go after his website and let it be clear that we will go after him because we can’t allow this to continue,” he said.

“There was a particular time I asked our colleagues to find the so-called owner of ‘Aboxi FX’ that we want to engage him to understand his module, his basis and how he came about advertising those rates.

“We find him as a Nigerian who lives in England and conducts this nefarious and criminal activity on our economy. It is an economic sabotage and we will pursue him. Where ever he is, we will report him to international security agencies. Mr Oniwinde, we will find you!”

The CBN boss also decried the security challenges in the country, lamenting that Bureau de Change operators were encouraging kidnapping, banditry and terrorism though the sale of FOREX.

READ ALSO: CBN Cannot Continue Selling Dollars To People Who Buy Arms – Emefiele

He, however, noted that the apex bank will not continue to sell FOREX to people who purchase arms to hurt Nigerians.

According to Emefiele, the financial markets regulator is determined to eliminate the activities of illegal FOREX traders.

Speaking further, the CBN boss restated that the apex bank is the only national bank in the world that will dip its hand in the country’s reserve to sell foreign exchange to Bureau de Change operators in the market.

“Nobody ever mentions the rate of Bureau de Change in the city of London. It really beats my imagination that Nigeria carried on with this kind of practice that tended to support illegal activities of people who are involved in graft and corrupt practices,” the CBN boss added.

“We have supported the activities of those who illegally buy foreign exchange from this illegal market, carry them in aircraft out of the country and go to buy arms and ammunition and bring them into the country to commit crimes.

“We, the Central Bank, take our country’s dollars and sell to people to buy arms and ammunition to come and hurt us. That is what we are saying that people want us to do, we cannot do that any longer.”

Thirteen Days To Launch Of E-Naira, Here Are Six Things You Should Know

A screen grab of the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele.

 

In June 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced plans to launch a digital currency dubbed the ‘e-Naira’ by October 2021, joining  81 countries strongly considering digital currencies.

The CBN’s decision followed two years of contemplation on digital currency technology. Additionally, the CBN’s intention to achieve 80% financial inclusion by the end of 2021 is another motivation to launch digital money.

While there is much information about this digital currency which is soon to be launched, below are six things you should know about the nature of this innovation: 

It is purely digital.

The e-Naira would be a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) which means that while it is regulated by the CBN, it is a token that would only exist in digital and electronic form.

It is universally transferable.

The CBDC would be eligible for local and international transfers with little to no time lag and cheaper transaction fees than physical currencies. Also, it would allow you to transfer existing funds in your bank to your digital currency account.

It has a myriad of economic advantages

With the e-Naira, Nigerians can engage in easier cross-border trade, as well as enjoy a cheaper and faster inflow of remittances. Also, a digital currency would provide more financial opportunities for Nigerians as they would be able to create new business opportunities and financial products and services. 

According to the CBN, another perk of the e-Naira is a reduction in the cost of operations and cash management. It would also leave a clearer footprint of digital transactions, making it easier for financial institutions to track transactions.

Read Also: Nigeria’s Inflation Rate Drops Further To 17.01% In August – NBS Report

Financial Institutions would still be relevant

The digital currency would be implemented through a two-tiered model which would enable a structure that leaves room for public-private partnership. Just like the physical currency, the CBN will design the e-Naira but disseminate it through regulated financial institutions, which would then provide digital cash to individuals and businesses.

It’s not a Cryptocurrency

While all cryptocurrencies are digital currencies, it is important to note that not all digital currencies are cryptocurrencies. The e-Naira would be regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria, but cryptocurrencies are not regulated by any government.

Implementation is on track

A recent development in the process of implementing digital currency is the selection of a technical fintech partner, Bitts Inc. After a thorough selection process, as prescribed by the Nigeria Public Procurement Act, Bitts Inc. emerged as a partner to the CBN for this innovative project.

Bitts Inc. prioritises the creation of payment systems that ensures an increase in social inclusion, financial inclusion and overall sustainable economic growth; the excellence in their operation methods has earned them acknowledgment from the Bretton Woods Institutions – IMF/World Bank. This is one of the reasons the CBN enlisted them for this crucial exercise.

Also, the company was the first fintech to digitize a national currency on a blockchain by creating a synthetic CBDC with the support of the Governor, Central Bank of Barbados and the country’s Minister of Finance.

As Nigeria counts down to her 61st Independence Day celebration, citizens can look forward to the start of a digital era where the CBN prioritises making financial operations more citizen-centric.

According to the Geo-economics Centre, the Bahamas, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Lucia, and Gernada are five countries that have fully launched digital currencies; if things go according to plan, Nigeria will be amongst them.

CBN Cannot Continue Selling Dollars To People Who Buy Arms – Emefiele

CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it cannot continue to sell dollars to people who purchase arms to hurt Nigerians.

CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, stated this on Friday after the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting which was held in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Emefiele explained that the financial markets regulator is determined to eliminate the activities of illegal FOREX traders.

Read Also: Nigeria’s Inflation Rate Drops Further To 17.01% In August – NBS Report

According to him, the CBN remains the only national bank in the world that will dip its hand in the country’s reserve to sell dollars to Bureau de Change operators in the market.

“Nobody ever mentions the rate of Bureau de Change in the city of London. It really beats my imagination that Nigeria carried on with this kind of practice that tended to support illegal activities of people who are involved in graft and corrupt practices,” he said.

“We have supported the activities of those who illegally buy foreign exchange from this illegal market, carry them in aircraft out of the country and go to buy arms and ammunition and bring them into the country to commit crimes.

“We, the Central Bank, take our country’s dollars and sell to people to buy arms and ammunition to come and hurt us. That is what we are saying that people want us to do, we cannot do that any longer.”

It Is Our Job To Print Money, Lend Govt – Emefiele Replies Obaseki

 

The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has replied Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, concerning his claim that the apex bank printed an additional N50billion to N60billion to make up for state allocations.

Emefiele while addressing journalists in Tunga, Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State said printing money is a key mandate of the central bank, and the bank must always act to support the government at times of financial difficulties.

He added that it is “unfortunate and totally inappropriate” for some people to give colouration to this.

“If you understand the concept of printing money. The concept of printing of money is about lending money. That is our job – print money. So there is no need to put controversy about the printing of money as if we are going into the factory, printing naira and distributing on the streets.

CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele

 

“In 2015/2016, we were in a similar [fiscal] situation, but it is far worse today. We provided a budget support facility to all the states of the country and that loan remains unpaid till now. We are going to insist on the states paying the loan back since they are effectively accusing us of giving them loans.

READ ALSO: Obaseki’s Claim On Printing Of N60bn Is Untrue, Says Finance Minister

“Most countries of the world today are confronted by not just the health crisis from the COVID pandemic but also economic crisis. I keep saying this: it would be irresponsible of the central bank of Nigeria or any central bank to stand idle and refuse to support its government at this time. Whatever we do in Nigeria is being done in any clime.”

Obaseki last week raised an alarm over the country’s rising debt profile, saying the situation is more critical now because of the huge amount borrowed to service the ailing economy.

He also claimed that the Federal Government printed an additional ₦50 to ₦60 billion to top-up for FAAC.

The Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning Zainab Ahmed debunked in her reaction described the governor’s claim as very sad and untrue.

According to her, monies distributed at Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) are revenues generated from the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigeria Customs, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), etc adding that revenue distribution is information that can be publicly accessed.

Use Of Cryptocurrency Illegal In Nigeria, Says CBN

A file photo of Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele
A file photo of Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Sunday said the use of cryptocurrencies in Nigeria contravenes existing laws.

The apex bank was responding to public criticism of its Friday notice warning Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to desist from transacting cryptocurrencies and dealing with entities who do same.

According to the CBN, cryptocurrencies are “issued by unknown and unregulated entities” and are increasingly being used to conduct ” many illegal activities including money laundering, terrorism financing, purchase of small arms and light weapons, and tax evasion.”

READ ALSO: [Cryptocurrency] What’s Bitcoin Really Worth?

The CBN said its position on cryptocurrencies will have no negative impact on the development of financial technology in Nigeria.

“To the contrary, the Nigerian payment system has evolved significantly over the last decade, leapfrogging many of its counterparts in emerging, frontier and advanced economies propelled by reforms driven by the CBN,” the bank said.

It added that it will “continue to do all within its regulatory powers to educate Nigerians to desist from its use and protect our financial system from activities of fraudsters and speculators.”

Read the CBN’s full statement:

CBN Press Release on Crypto-currency

The attention of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has been drawn to various comments and reactions following our recent reminder to Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to desist from transacting in / and with entities dealing in cryptocurrencies. Most of these reactions reveal that there appears to be a need to provide further  justifications about our position, especially to the general public.

For those who are not conversant with the universe of cryptocurrencies, it is important to state that Cryptocurrencies are digital or virtual currencies issued by largely anonymous entities and secured by cryptography. Cryptography is a method of encrypting and hiding codes that prevent oversight, accountability, and regulation. While there are a number of cryptocurrencies now in circulation, Bitcoin was the first to be introduced in 2009, and now accounts for about 68 percent of all cryptocurrencies.

As regards our recent policy pronouncement,  it is important to clarify that the CBN circular of February 5, 2021 did not place any new restrictions on cryptocurrencies, given that all banks in the country had earlier been forbidden, through CBN’s circular dated January 12, 2017, not to use, hold, trade and/or transact in cryptocurrencies . Indeed, this position was reiterated in another CBN Press Release dated February 27, 2018.

It is also important to note that the CBN’s position on cryptocurrencies  is not an outlier as many countries, central banks, international financial institutions, and distinguished investors and economists have also warned against its use. They have all made similar pronouncements based of the significant risks that transacting in cryptocurrencies portend- risk of loss of investments, money laundering, terrorism financing, illicit fund flows and criminal activities. China, Canada, Taiwan, Indonesia, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Bolivia, Kyrgyzstan, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iran, Bangladesh, Nepal and Cambodia have all placed certain level of restrictions on financial institutions facilitating cryptocurrency transactions.
In China, for example, cryptocurrencies are completely banned and all exchanges closed as well. Banks and other financial institutions are not allowed by law to transact or deal with cryptocurrencies. China’s Central Bank, called the Peoples Bank of China (PBoC) has provided several directives ruling out the use of these currencies. The PBOC views cryptocurrencies as illegal because they are not issued by any recognized monetary institution and do not hold any legal status that can make them equivalent to money. Hence banks and all stakeholders are strongly advised against their use as a currency.
Even famed investor Warren Buffett has called cryptocurrencies “rat poison squared,” a “mirage,” and a “gambling device.” Mr. Buffett believes it is a “gambling device” given that they are mostly valuable because the person buying it does so, not as a means of payment; but in the hope they can sell it for even more than what they paid at some point.

During an online forum hosted by the Davos-based World Economic Forum few weeks ago, Andrew Bailey, the Governor of the Bank of England, highlighted the extreme price volatility of cryptocurrencies as one of the biggest flaws and explained that this flaw makes it impossible for them to be used as a lasting means of payment.

“Have we landed on what I would call the design, governance and arrangements for what I might call a lasting digital currency? No, I don’t think we’re there yet, honestly. I don’t think cryptocurrencies as originally formulated are it,” he said.

It is not surprising he would take that position because, Bitcoin, the best-known cryptocurrency, hit a record high of $42,000 per unit on January 8, 2021, and sank as low as $28,800 about two weeks later. This is far greater volatility than is found with normal currencies.

Let us now turn to some of the justifications for CBN’s recent policy reminder. A perfunctory reflection on the definition of cryptocurrencies can already reveal several problems.

First, in light of the fact that they are issued by unregulated and unlicensed entities, their use in Nigeria goes against the key mandates of the CBN, as enshrined in the CBN Act (2007), as the issuer of legal tender in Nigeria. In effect, the use of cryptocurrencies in Nigeria are a direct contravention of existing law. It is also important to highlight that there is a critical difference between a Central Bank issued Digital Currency and cryptocurrencies. As the names imply, while Central Banks can issue Digital Currencies, cryptocurrencies are issued by unknown and unregulated entities.

Second, the very name and nature of “cryptocurrencies” suggests that its patrons and users value anonymity, obscurity, and concealment. The question that one may need to ask therefore is, why any entity  would disguise its transactions if they were legal. It is on the basis of this opacity that cryptocurrencies have become well-suited for conducting many illegal activities including money laundering, terrorism financing, purchase of small arms and light weapons, and tax evasion. Indeed, many banks and investors who place a high value on reputation have been turned off from cryptocurrencies because of the damaging effects of the widespread use of cryptocurrencies for illegal activities. In fact, the role of cryptocurrencies in the purchase of hard and illegal drugs on the darknet website called “Silk Road” is well known. They have also been recent reports that cryptocurrencies have been used to finance terror plots, further damaging its image as a legitimate means of exchange.

More also, repeated and recent evidence now suggests that some cryptocurrencies have become more widely used as speculative assets rather than as means of payment, thus explaining the significant volatility and variability in their prices. Because the total number of Bitcoins that would ever be issued is fixed (only 21 million will ever be created), new issuances are predetermined at a gradually decelerating pace. This limited supply has created a perverse incentive that encourages users to stockpile them in the hope that their prices rise. Unfortunately, with a conglomeration of desperate, disparate, and unregulated actors comes unprecedented price volatility that have threatened many sophisticated financial systems. In fact, the price of ether, one of the largest cryptocurrencies in the world, fell from US$320 to US$0.10 in June 2017. The price of Bitcoins has also suffered similar volatilities.

Given that unlike Fiat money, which is accompanied by  full faith and comfort of a country or Central Bank, cryptocurrencies do not have any intrinsic value and do not generate returns by themselves. When one buys a stock, say of a conglomerate in the Nigeria Stock Exchange, its price reflects the activity and production of that conglomerate and the value people place on their goods and/or services. This price may rise as the conglomerate produces better goods/services and probably gains greater market share. The reverse would be true if the conglomerate does not innovate to improve the quality of its goods/services. In other words, the price of that stock reflects market fundamentals. In contrast, , cryptocurrencies do not have fundamentals and would never have fundamentals. Investors only buy in the hope that its use and acceptability will rise, thereby pushing up its demand and price.         But since new versions of cryptocurrencies come on stream with new mathematical models, an infinite supply may someday crash the price to zero.

At this juncture, the CBN would like to assert that our actions are not in any way, shape or form inimical to the development of FinTech or a technology-driven payment system. To the contrary, the Nigerian payment system has evolved significantly over the last decade, leapfrogging many of its counterparts in emerging, frontier and advanced economies propelled by reforms driven by the CBN. This is evident from the variety of participants, products, channels, cutting-edge technology in the payments system. It is also validated by the astronomical growth of volume/value of transactions and the fact that Nigeria is an investment destination of choice for international financial technology companies because of CBN’s policies that have created an enabling investment environment in the payments system.

These developments in the payments and settlements space has helped to grow the financial system, improving financial inclusion, the quality and convenience of financial services and has also created millions of direct and indirect jobs for teeming youth population.

The innovations in Nigeria’s payment system were catalyzed by regulatory reforms driven by the CBN which entailed the issuance of a raft of guidelines and regulations on Operations of Electronic Payments Channels in Nigeria; Transaction Switching; Card Issuance and Usage, Licensing of payment service providers; Mobile Money Services, Electronic Payments of Salaries, Pensions, Suppliers and Taxes, Licensing Super Agents in Nigeria; and use of USSD for Financial Services in Nigeria, Super Agents and Agent Banking Operations  and Payment Service Banks to mention a few.

The robust regulatory framework put in place by the Bank opened up the payment system to innovation with several new players across in the following licensing categories- Payment Terminal Service Providers (PTSPs), Payment Solution Service Providers (PSSPs), Mobile Money Operators (MMOs), Payment Terminal Application Developers (PTSAs), Switches, Super Agents,  Agents and Payment Service Banks (PSBs)    This has created both direct and indirect jobs for Nigeria’s youth population.

Several other initiatives are being implemented to further support FinTech development and creation of jobs. These include regulatory sandbox and open banking principles that the Bank recently implemented.

The recent regulatory directive became necessary to protect the financial system and the generality of Nigerians (including the youth population) from the risks inherent in crypto assets transactions, which have escalated in recent times, with dire consequences for the integrity of the financial system and financial stability. Due to the fact that cryptocurrencies are largely speculative, anonymous and untraceable they are increasingly being used for money laundering, terrorism financing and other criminal activities. Small retail and unsophisticated investors also face high probability of loss due to the high volatility of the investments in recent times.

In light of these realities and analyses, the CBN has no comfort in cryptocurrencies at this time and will continue to do all within its regulatory powers to educate Nigerians to desist from its use and protect our financial system from activities of fraudsters and speculators.

Osita Nwasinobi
Acting Director, Corporate Communications

CBN Retains Interest Rate At 12.5%

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, speaks to the press about the Monetary Policy Committee meeting of June 20, 2020

 

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria has retained the monetary policy rate at 12.5 per cent.

Governor of the Central Bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele announced this at the end of the MPC’s meeting on Monday.

Emefiele explained that other parameters were held constant, leaving the CRR at 27.5% and the liquidity ratio at 30%.

He added that the move to tighten will contradict the initiative of expansion of affordable credit to the real sector while increasing MPR at the stage will be counter-intuitive and will result in upward pressure on market rates and cost of production and a further cut will not be realistic

The CBN Governor stated that the earlier loosening to 12.5% in May is yielding positive impact as credit growth increased significantly in the economy and more time needs to be given for the impact to be felt further.

According to him, the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew in the first quarter of 2020.

“Available data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that real Growth Domestic Product (GDP) grew marginally by 1.87 per cent in the first quarter of 2020 compared with the 2.25 per cent and 2.10 per cent in the proceeding and corresponding quarters of 2019,” he said.

Although the CBN Governor noted that there was a decline in output growth, he, however, attributed the decline to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The performance was largely driven by 5.06 per cent growth in the oil sector and 1.55 growths in the non-oil sector. The decline in output growth in the first quarter was largely attributed to the decline in the oil prices and the shock from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Committee observed the gradual but persistent decline in the manufacturing and non-Manufacturing Purchasing Indices below the benchmarks. 10 members of the committee were in attendance,” he said.

Eight members of the committee voted in favour of holding the MPR, while two members wanted it reduced.

In addition to the MPR, the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) was retained at 27.5 per cent, liquidity ratio at 30 per cent, while the Asymmetric Corridor was retained at +200/-500 basis points.

 

Emefiele, Three Governors Discuss How To Boost Palm Oil Production

CBN Governor meets with three other governors

 

The Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, has met with Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State and his Abia and Edo counterparts, Okezie Ikpeazu and Godwin Obaseki.

The meeting which held in Abuja, the nation’s capital is to seek ways on how to boost palm oil production in the country.

READ ALSO: NNPC Records N12.13bn Excess In December 2018

Mr. Emefiele during the meeting on Monday announced measures on how to improve the production.

He said there would be the provision of loans with an interest rate of nine percent per annum.

He also noted that there will be the provision of quality seeds and agrochemicals for farmers.

Newly Confirmed CBN DGs, MPC Members Assume Duty

 

After confirmation by the Senate House of Assembly, Aisha Ahmad and Edward Adamu have assumed duty as substantive deputy governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) alongside three members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

Ahmad and Adamu assumed duty on Wednesday, March 28 after being screened and confirmed by the Senate Committee on Banking and Finance, last week..

Also, the trio of Adeola Adenikinju, Robert Asogwa and Aliyu Sanusi on Wednesday formally commenced their tenure as members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank.

READ ALSO: Why Lekki Deep Seaport Is Important To Nigeria’s Economy – Amaechi

CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele congratulated the new Deputy Governors and members of the MPC on their respective appointments by President Muhammadu Buhari and subsequent confirmation by the Senate.

Emefiele, flanked by Adebayo Adelabu and Joseph Okwu Nnanna, the Deputy Governors in charge of Operations and Financial System Stability (FSS), respectively, expressed gladness that the bank now has a full complement of deputy governors to enable it to operate optimally as well as the required quorum to enable the MPC to hold its statutory meetings for formulating monetary and credit policy.

He, therefore, charged the deputy governors and MPC members to bring their experience to bear in the discharge of their new responsibilities, stressing that much was expected of them. He urged them to

Ahmad, Adamu and the three new MPC members subsequently subscribed to their oaths of office, administered by the acting director, corporate secretariat at the CBN, Alice Karau.

Thereafter, the Director, Monetary Policy Department (MPD),  Moses Tule, read out the Charter of the MPC to new members before they retired into their maiden MPC retreat preparatory to the first MPC meeting for 2018 scheduled to hold on Tuesday, April 3 and Wednesday, April 4, 2018.

The Senate on Thursday, March 22 confirmed the appointment of Ahmad and Adamu as substantive Deputy Governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) along with three members of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC).

Buhari, Emefiele, Dambazau At Food Security Council Meeting

 

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday met with the Food Security Council at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

The council which had in attendance the Governor of the Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, Minister of Interior, Albdulrahman Dambazau, amongst other promised to step up operations in ensuring a secure environment, where efforts by states towards food security in Nigeria will yield the desired results.

Nigeria Is Getting Out Of Recession – Information Minister

Nigerian Government Hails Whistle-Blower Policy
Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed

The Federal Government has backed a statement made by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, that Nigeria is gradually moving out of recession.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, represented by the Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria (Nan), Mr. Bayo Onanuga, made the assertion at the biennial convention of the Nigerian Guild of Editors in Lagos.

Mr Mohammed backed his claim partly by pointing out that for two consecutive months, the National Bureau of Statistics has also reported a fall in inflation rate, saying that the exchange rate is regaining some sanity.

The minister also said that the Buhari administration and collective will of Nigerians have shamed doomsday prediction that the nation’s recession could worsen into a depression.

Police Rescue Emefiele’s Wife, Arrest Suspects

CBN Governor, Emefiele, Police RescueThe Police have arrested two suspects over their alleged link with the kidnap of Mrs Margret Emefiele, the wife on Nigeria’s Central Bank Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele.

Mrs Emefiele kidnapped on Thursday at the Edo state end of the Agbor-Benin expressway, alongside two of her relatives and her driver.

The kidnappers had demanded for the sum of 100 million naira ransom before they were smashed by the Police at 1.30 am by the Police while combing the forest around Agbor.