Cryptocurrency ban: Emefiele honours NASS invitation



Godwin Emefiele, Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has honoured the invitation of the Senate over the ban placed on cryptocurrency in the country.

Emefiele arrived at the National Assembly (NASS) on Tuesday to honour the request by the Senate Joint Committee on Banking Insurance and other financial institutions, (including ICT and cybercrime).

The Senate Joint Committee had invited the CBN Governor to brief on the opportunities and threats of cryptocurrency on the nation’s economy.

The decision by the Senate to invite the CBN governor is sequel to a motion by a federal lawmaker, Senator Istifanus Gyang during plenary on February 11, on the CBN’s directive to stop financial institutions from transactions in cryptocurrencies and matters arising from them.

The federal lawmakers called for caution, pointing out that while cryptocurrency has its negative sides and it has become the fastest-growing form of transaction all over the world.

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They argued that technology has changed the way business is conducted in Nigeria and the country cannot run away from cryptocurrency.

It would be recalled that CBN had on February 5, ordered all banks to close accounts of anyone who transact in cryptocurrency.

The order was contained in a circular to banks and other financial institutions, signed by the Director of Banking Supervision, Bello Hassan, and was expected to take immediate effect.

According to the CBN, dealing in cryptocurrency or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited.