- Innoson says it doesn't accept cryptocurrency in exchange for its vehicles amid fear of CBN clampdown
- The local automaker denies crypto partnership with Zugacoins, which has been linked to the company
- Innoson said it supports the CBN's ban on cryptocurrency, as the digital asset is not a legal tender
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Innoson Vehicle has denied accepting cryptocurrencies as payment from individuals interested in purchasing vehicles manufactured by the Nigerian automaker. The company said it doesn't support cryptocurrency as it is not a legal tender within the country.
The Innocent Chukwuma-owned automaker had been linked with altcoins, Zugacoin, after a report circulated that the digital asset had signed a deal with Innoson Vehicle. But the Owerri-based firm said it didn't partner with any crypto company.
The response of Innoson is in line with the ban placed on cryptocurrency transactions by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The apex body had directed Nigerian deposit money banks to close crypto-linked accounts.
CBN's directive sparked counter debates, with the Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, stating that the CBN should have researched on how the digital asset can be utilised and risk exposure mitigate, rather than an outright ban.
The ban is still in place, hence, Innoson's response to the link with Zugacoins. In the statement released, the local automaker said:
"We stand by the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria that the use of cryptocurrency in Nigeria contravenes existing laws as they are not legal tender.
"We did not sign any Partnership with any organization on the use of any form of cryptocurrency for the purchase of any product from Innoson Group."
While the ban by CBN has prevented companies from engaging in bitcoin and other cryptocurrency transactions, United States carmaker, Tesla, said it will be accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for its vehicles
Several stakeholders in the tech space and crypto market have criticised the directive of CBN, stating that it will be a setback for the progress of Nigeria, and affect foreign investment flow into the market.
The founder of Financial Derivatives, Bismarck Rewane, had advised against the ban on cryptocurrency. He seconded the comment of Osinbajo. Tech investor, Victor Asemota had also condemned the ban in a series of tweets.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had earlier reported that Nigeria's unemployment rate grew by 33% at the end of last year following the COVID-19 pandemic which affected companies.
The number of unemployed Nigerians was put above 23 million as of December last year.
Fakoyejo Olalekan is a Business and Financial Journalist with over three years of experience in covering finance and business activities within Nigeria and offshore. Prior to joining Legit.ng, he worked at Nairametrics where he wrote financial and investment analysis articles. Olalekan is a resourceful and result-driven journalist with a track record for conducting extensive research and interviews to produce articles that provide different perspectives to market activities.