Nigerians knock Buhari over CBN Cryptocurrency ban
The President Muhammadu Buhari administration Friday came under heavy criticisms as the Central Bank of Nigeria ordered deposit money banks and other financial institutions to close accounts used in trading cryptocurrencies by Nigerians.
Some described Mr. Buhari as backward thinking leader, whose poor economic policies has negatively disrupted Nigerian economy since he assumed office in 2015.
Citing a CBN circular on Friday, Peoples Gazette reported how the Nigerian bankers regulator ordered 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. “
Cryptocurrency has recently gained more acceptance amongst young Nigerians as the value of the Nigerian Naira continue to drop in the forex market.
Nigeria ranked world’s second-largest Bitcoin by trading volume, according to crypto marketplace Paxful. Also, Nigerians are reported to have traded 60,215 Bitcoins, or more than $566 million in the last five years.
Alarmed by the CBN decision to ban cryptocurrency trading, many Nigerian on social media said the decision could discourage investors from Nigeria, wondering why the government will implement such a policy when countries across the globe are adopting cryptocurrency.
Chidi Odinkalu, former Chairman of Nigerian Human Rights Commission, described the CBN decision as a “silly” policy that makes no sense.
“What does it even mean for @cenbank to “ban” a currency system in which it holds no value, cannot govern and has no writ over? This is silly!”, Mr. Odinkalu said.
“”One of the Major bane of Foreign Investment in Nigeria is instability of policy”, @iAGB4REAL, a Twitter user said, “no one would want to invest where leaders make erratic policies at their convenience.”
Another Twitter user, AlphaKing said “A country only centered to frustrate any kind of growth or development. A government designed to enslave the masses by inducing poverty driving policies. A country where cows has more rights/class than the citizens.”
Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters, said “Attack on crypto is nothing more than the fear of another #Endsars uprising, the @mbuhari regime was told that the #Endsars movement was funded via cryptocurrency and that a follow up will be happening funded same way, backward people living in the past. #RevolutionNow Too late.”
“How does this action help Nigerian challenged economy? Are we just taking a permanent position, based on a temporary circumstances?”, another Twitter Gowdin Robinson asked.
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This is coming at a time when investors both in Nigeria and around the globe are seeking better and credible alternatives to Bitcoin
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The attack on the police office comes barely a week after police headquarters and a correctional facility were attacked in neighbouring Imo State with over 1,000 inmates released.
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