In a circular, making rounds on social media on Friday afternoon, the Nigerian bank regulator ordered deposit money banks, non-bank financial institutions, and other financial institutions to “identify persons and/or entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges within their systems and ensure that such accounts are closed immediately. “
Reacting to this, Nigerians lambasted the Central Bank of Nigeria for banning banks from processing cryptocurrencies.
Former Nigeria vice president – Atiku Abubakar also joined the train on Saturday to call for the reversal of the ban on cryptocurrencies trading in the country.
“We Need To Open Up Our Economy, Not Close It. The number one challenge facing Nigeria is youth unemployment. In fact, it is not a challenge, it is an emergency. It affects our economy and is exacerbating insecurity in the nation,” he said.
He added that;
“What Nigeria needs now, perhaps more than ever, are jobs and an opening up of our economy, especially after yesterday’s report by the National Bureau of Statistics indicated that foreign capital inflow into Nigeria is at a four year low having plummeted from $23.9 billion in 2019 to just $9.68 billion in 2020.”
According to Atiku;
“Already, the nation suffered severe economic losses from the border closure and the effects of the #Covid19 pandemic. This is definitely the wrong time to introduce policies that will restrict the inflow of capital into Nigeria, and I urge that the policy to prohibit the dealing and transaction of cryptocurrencies be revisited.”
Atiku noted that the country needs to expand the economy, create more jobs and remove every impediment towards investments.
“It is possible to regulate the sub-sector and prevent any abuse that may be damaging to national security. That may be a better option, than an outright shutdown. There is already immense economic pressure on our youths. It must be the job of the government, therefore, to reduce that pressure, rather than adding to it. We must create jobs in Nigeria. We must expand the economy. We must remove every impediment towards investments. We owe the Nigerian people that much,” he said.