The Senate has invited the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele to brief its committees on the opportunities and threats of cryptocurrency on the nation’s economy.
The decision of the Senate to invite the CBN governor is a sequel to a motion by a Federal Lawmaker Senator Istifanus Gyang during plenary on Thursday, on the CBN’s directive to stop financial institutions from transactions in cryptocurrencies and matters arising from them.
Contributing, federal lawmakers called for caution pointing out that while cryptocurrency has its negative sides and it has become the fastest-growing form of the transaction all over the world.
They argued that technology has changed the way business is conducted in Nigeria and the country cannot run away from cryptocurrency. What has required some of them to say, is regulation.
The CBN Governor is to appear before the committees on banking, ICT, Cybercrime, and Capital market and these committees are to report back to the Senate in two weeks.
It can be recalled that CBN had on February 5, 2021, ordered all banks to close accounts of anyone who transacts in cryptocurrency.
The order was contained in a circular to banks and other financial institutions, signed on Friday by the Director of Banking Supervision, Bello Hassan, and it is expected to take effect immediately.
According to the CBN, dealing in cryptocurrency or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited.
The CBN further noted that the use of cryptocurrencies in Nigeria contravenes existing laws.
The apex bank warned Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to desist from transacting cryptocurrencies and dealing with entities who do the 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.”