From Segun Amure, (The New Diplomat’s Abuja Bureau)
Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has given its nod to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo’s counsel on the regulation of cryptocurrency operations in Nigeria.
Recall the Vice President in his address at the Bankers’ Committee event on Friday, had said there is a need to regulate crypto operations in the country, whereby both the monetary authorities and the Security and Exchange Commission would “provide a robust regulatory regime that addresses these serious concerns without killing the goose that might lay the golden eggs.”
His statement reads “Clearly, the future of money and finance especially traditional banking must be exciting as it is frightening but as we’ve seen in many other sectors disruption makes room for efficiency and progress.
“I fully appreciate the position of the CBN, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and some of the anti-corruption agencies on some of the abuses of cryptocurrencies and their well-articulated concerns.
“I believe their position should be the subject of further reflection. There is a role for regulation here and it is in the place of our monetary authorities and SEC to provide a robust regulatory regime that addresses these serious concerns without necessarily killing the goose that might lay the golden eggs.
“Cryptocurrencies in the coming years will challenge traditional banking, including reserve banking, iSn ways that we cannot yet imagine, so we need to be prepared for that seismic shift.
Reacting to Osinbajo’s submission on cryptocurrency operations, CBN on its official Twitter handle, @cenbank, Saturday, stated that the Vice President’s advise on regulation was to ensure that the apex bank is in a position to prevent any adverse side effect or possible criminal acts that may arise as a consequence of adopting blockchain technology.
The tweets read “#Osinbajo advises #CBN put in place a thoughtful & knowledge based regulation, cautioned on the need to ensure that we are in a position to prevent any of the adverse side effects or even possible criminal acts that may arise as a consequence of adopting blockchain technology”.
“The banking sector plays a crucial role in promoting increased & inclusive growth in Nigeria, VP #Osinbajo commended #CBN for the forward looking support for growth related initiatives, especially under the economic sustainability plan”.
“The VP #Osinbajo also commended the DMBs for their patriotic contributions to sustain growth but called for the need to further deepen the provision of capital that would allow businesses to grow over the long term,” the apex bank added.
It would be recalled that the CBN after its directive that all financial institutions in Nigeria should not engage in transactions linked to crypto operations has come under attacks in the country.
The Nigerian Senate had invited the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele to brief the Senators on the ban placed on cryptocurrency.
Other top notch politicians who have criticised CBN and the Federal government on the ban are former Kaduna Senator, Shehu Sani, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar and socio-political activist, Aisha Yesufu.
“It is a threat to them. It scares them. The government no longer fully controls information and the economy. Young people are succeeding out of their control and they cannot be enslaved with a threat to their livelihood or access to information the way their parent’s generation was.” Aisha tweeted.
Shehu Sani stated, “Why the ban on Cryptocurrency? Why are we running backwards?
On his part, Nigeria former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar disclosed on his twitter handle that, “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,”
He noted further that, “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.”