The former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Kingsley Moghalu, has faulted the cryptocurrency ban by the apex bank.
The CBN directed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Other Financial Institutions (OFIs), and Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs) local financial institutions to stop any transactions in crypto or facilitating payments for crypto exchanges.
According to a circular signed by the Director of Banking Supervision, Bello Hassan, and Director, Payments System Management Department, Musa I Jimoh, disobedience to the directive will attract sanctions.
Reacting to the development in an interview on Channels Television‘s Sunday Politics, Moghalu said that $500 million worth of Bitcoin has been traded in Nigeria within the last five years.
The former presidential candidate said regardless of the risks involved in trading in cryptocurrencies, he would not recommend that it be banned outrightly.
He said: “A lot of the activities across the world are going digital, and I would not recommend banning it (cryptocurrencies) outright.
“$500 million worth of Bitcoin has been traded in Nigeria within the last five years and Nigeria is one of the top 10 countries in the use of cryptocurrencies in the world today“.
He further explained that it is becoming a real factor in the country’s investment ecosystem and a livelihood for many Nigerians.
Moghalu said that the move is seen as though the Muhammadu Buhari-led government is always taking action to take away opportunities from Nigerians especially in a depressed economy.
He believes that any investment has risks and if he was in a position to make a decision, it would be to balance the risks against the country’s current realities.
According to Moghalu, regular currencies depreciate against cryptocurrencies such as the BTC but many Policies from the bank in the past few years have not been favourable.
“The Nigerian Government should try to make the investment climate far more friendly and efficient than it is now.
“It is unfriendly, that’s why the foreign investment is declining,” he said.