Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections, on Saturday told the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to have a rethink on the prohibition of cryptocurrency transactions in Nigeria. The former vice president cautioned that the timing of the policy decision is wrong given its consequences on inflow of foreign capital into the country.
Atiku in a statement on Saturday, emphasized that the number one challenge facing Nigeria is youth unemployment. He decried that in fact, it is not a challenge, it is an emergency. The former vice president stated that youth unemployment affects Nigeria’s economy and is exacerbating insecurity in the nation.
Atiku, therefore, declared: “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.”
The former vice president pointed out that 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,” he declared.
Atiku advocated 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, he declared.
“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,” Atiku declared.
The CBN had issued directive to financial institutions under its regulation that transactions in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges have been prohibited.
Several other Nigerians have also opposed the directive.
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