- The debate on the cryptocurrency ban by the Central Bank of Nigeria is still ongoing
- Vice President has given his own perspective on the recent policy by the apex bank
- The debate around the policy has dominated headlines in Nigeria's financial and technology sectors in the past few weeks
Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo has kicked against the prohibition of cryptocurrency by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The vice president stated that rather than adopt a policy that prohibits cryptocurrency operations in the Nigerian banking sector, the CBN should act with knowledge and develop a robust regulatory regime that is thoughtful and knowledge-based.
Osinbajo stated this in a keynote address delivered virtually at a one-day economic summit organized by the CBN, the Banker’s Committee, and a national newspaper.
A statement sent to Legit.ng by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, quoted VP Osinbajo as saying:
“I fully appreciate the strong position of the CBN, Securities and Exchange Commission and some of the anti-corruption agencies on the possible abuses of cryptocurrencies and their other well-articulated concerns. But I believe that their position should be the subject of further reflection.
“There is a role for regulation here. And it is in the place of both our monetary authorities and SEC to provide a robust regulatory regime that addresses these serious concerns without killing the goose that might lay the golden eggs.
“So it should be thoughtful and knowledge-based regulation, not prohibition. The point I am making is that some of the exciting developments we see call for prudence and care in adopting them, but we must act with knowledge and not fear.”
Recall that a recent survey carried out by the World Economic Forum has revealed that Nigeria tops the list of countries using cryptocurrency globally.
According to the report, reliance on remittances and the prevalence of peer-to-peer phone payments have led to a steep rise in cryptocurrency use in Africa's largest economy.
On her part, Nigeria's former minister of education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili condemned the cryptocurrency ban by the CBN, noting that the CBN should have:
1. Map all the legitimate risks associated with cryptocurrency
2. Gather a subset of the super brilliant Nigerian young minds in the financial technology market and
3. Listen and learn more.
Jerrywright Ukwu is a senior political/defence correspondent at Legit.ng based in Abuja. He is a graduate of the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos and the International Institute of Journalism in Abuja. He is also an active member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists. He spends his leisure-time reading history books.