Former Vice president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, has condemned the directive by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) asking banks to close accounts of persons or entities involved in cryptocurrency transactions within their systems.
Atiku in a statement made available to Okay.ng on Saturday said the economy already suffered a decline as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and fall in prices of crude oil.
He noted now is a wrong time to adopt a policy discouraging investment in cryptocurrencies, adding that the CBN directive should be revisited.
The statement reads in full: “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 today’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 inimical 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.”