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Cryptocurrency Ban: ‘This Is Definitely The Wrong Time’ Says Atiku

A former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on Saturday in a statement advised the Federal Government to revisit its directive on cryptocurrency transactions ban in the country.

Mr. Atiku made this known while reacting to the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to banks and other financial institutions to close accounts of any individual who transact in cryptocurrency.

The apex bank had in a circular told the regulated institutions that dealing in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges was prohibited.

But Atiku stated that it was wrong to issue such a directive at this time, saying the number one challenge facing Nigeria was youth unemployment.

ALSO READ: COVID-19: Nigeria Records 1,624 New Cases, 9 Deaths 

The directive has generated mixed reactions on social media since the announcement was made on Friday.

Read the statement in full;

We Need To Open Up Our Economy, Not Close It

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.

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