Following the order by the Central Bank of Nigeria to commercial banks and other financial institutions to shut down all accounts operating in cryptocurrency, Nigerians have expressed their displeasure to the recent development.
The order was contained in a circular to banks and other financial institutions, signed on Friday by the Director of Banking Supervision, Bello Hassan, and it is expected to take immediate effect.
According to the CBN, dealing in cryptocurrency or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited, the apex bank added that breaches of the directive will attract severe regulatory sanctions.
Many Nigerians took to social media to express discontent over the decision by the apex bank given the current economic situation in the country.
Senator Ben Murray Bruce faulted the CBN’s order saying, “I thought it’s universal knowledge that decisions or policy regarding finance or economy should never be hasty?”
Human rights activist, Segun Awosanya described the CBN’s move as ill-advised, saying, “This is yet another developing horror story in our dying society. The govt via @cenbank is now shutting down cryptocurrency in a desperate move to block any ray of hope for the huge youth demographic they have largely failed. This won’t end well. This is ill-advised.”
Similarly, blogger Japhet Omojuwa lamented on the recent development saying, “Individuals that can fund the entire Nigerian budget for donkey years are betting on Bitcoin but Hassan and Musa are afraid it could make Nigerians wealthy. Welcome to the Dark Age! Others are in the Age of Deep Learning. We are in The Age of Deep Poverty.”
However, a more embracing reaction was seen from a former presidential aspirant, Adamu Garba, who said, “With the banning of crypto transactions, I believe The CBN is taking proactive measures to protect Nigerians from fraudsters who deceive ordinary citizens & rid them of their earnings. Crypto traders supposed to be regularised so that they can be tracked in the event of cheats.”
DJ Switch who was an active convener of the #EndSARS movement said, “If the ban on crypto by CBN is true, it points yet again to the ill-informed, backward, poverty promoting dinosaurs T-Rex leading us. Use your time to investigate and close accounts sponsoring terrorists in the country if you don’t know what to do!”