Earlier this month, the Central Bank of Nigeria released a circular banning the use of crypto currency in the country. Banks as well as other financial institutions were asked to close accounts operating in crypto currency. The CBN governor was summoned by the Nigerian Senate to defend the ban on cryptocurrency. Before the cryptocurrency ban, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had plans on regulating crypto currency in the country but the plan had to be put on hold after the Central Bank banned the use of crypto currency in the country.
The CBN Governor made it known that cryptocurrency had no place in the country and the reason for the ban was it was a catalyst to terrorism and money laundering. Many Nigerians expressed their sentiments over his reasons and even took to social media to share their feelings. Kingsley Moghalu, a former presidential candidate and former executive at the CBN said that Nigeria had traded over $500 million worth of crypto currency in the past five years and that the country is behind America when it comes to the amount of cryptocurrency traded. His opinions buttressed the need for CBN to regulate and not outrightly ban crypto currency in the country. He also emphasized that crypto currency was what put food on the tables of a lot of young Nigerians who had failed to get jobs and are unemployed.
The CBN Governor claims that the CBN ban will protect a lot of Nigerians while appearing before a Joint Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions; ICT and Cybercrime; and Capital Market on Tuesday, February 23, 2021.
The CBN Governor also made it known that Nigerians who have nothing to hide would be the least worried about the ban, that those who deal in illegal and illicit businesses and would not want to be trailed are those that would develop headaches because of the ban. According to the CBN Governor, ‘Cryptocurrency is used to describe the activities of traders in an electronic dark world where transactions are extremely opaque, not visible and not transparent’. The CBN Governor stressed that the apex bank is charged with the onus of protecting actors, bank stakeholders, uninformed actors and other players in the financial system, that crypto currency has to go. Even with the ban on crypto currency in Nigeria, it continues to thrive with peer-to-peer transactions.