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In A Major Twist, Senate Summons CBN Governor Over Ban On Cryptocurrency

CBN Gov. Godwin Emefiele
                                                        CBN Gov. Godwin Emefiele

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; Godwin Emefiele alongside Senate Committees on Banking and other Financial Institution, Cybercrimes and Capital Market have been mandated by the Senate to attend a briefing to discuss the recent ban on cryptocurrencies by the bank. This information was revealed after Thursday’s plenary session via the Senate’s Twitter handle.

On the 5th of February 2021, the Central Bank of Nigeria released a circular instructing Deposit Money bank, non-financial institutions and other financial institutions to put an end to whatever business they have with cryptocurrency and digital assets in general. Banks were instructed to close accounts of cryptocurrency exchangers and individuals transacting in cryptocurrency. Any breach of this directive by banks and other financial imstitutions attracts serious sanctions.

The National Assembly said the Senate Committees are expected to ‘drill’ the Central Bank Governor on the benefits and dangers of cryptocurrency. The Governor is expected to give a feedback on this two weeks after the briefing.

The tweet said specifically.’…the opportunities and threats of the crypto currency on the nation’s economy and security and to report back findings in two weeks’.

Almost a week after the cryptocurrency ban, Nigerians are not backing down. They have shifted from bank enabled options to peer-to-peer transactions with cryptocurrencies. In fact, there has been a surge of peer-to-peer transactions. Nigeria topped in peer-to-peer transactions in the whole of Africa this past week showing that even with the ban, people will always decipher new ways to achieve what they want.

According to the Governor of the Central Bank, cryptocurrencies enable terrorism and money laundering. This was the provided reason for the ban, days after the circular was released with no explanation as to why cryptocurrency was banned.

From experts to individuals, nobody seems to be in support of the ban. The ban is seen as a backward-moving decision in a time and age where everything has gone digital and even first-world countries are finding ways to incorporate digital currency into the system.

People are looking forward to the outcome of the briefing and hope that there would be a possible reversal or at least something other than an outright ban.

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