Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to have a rethink on its directives on cryptocurrency transactions in the country.
Atiku gave this advice following the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) to banks and other financial institutions to close accounts of any individual who transacts in cryptocurrency.
In the directives, CBN told the regulated institution that dealing in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges were prohibited.
But Atiku said it was the wrong decision to make at a time that the number one challenge facing the country is youth unemployment.
He explained that youth unemployment has not only become a challenge but an emergency that has affected the nation’s economy and was exacerbating insecurity.
He decried the impact of the closure of the border and the effect of the COVID 19 pandemic on the economy.
Atiku said what Nigeria needs at the moment are jobs and opening up of its economy following the 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.
Read the full statement issued by Atiku below:
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.
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.
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.
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.