Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president of Nigeria, has advised the Federal Government against prohibiting the dealing and transaction of cryptocurrencies in the country in the interest of the economy.
He also identified youth unemployment as the number one challenge facing Nigeria.
Describing it as an emergency, he noted that youth unemployment affects Nigeria’s economy, and that it is exacerbating insecurity in the nation.
Urging the government to open up the economy, Atiku, who was the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general election, said:
“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.”
In a statement he personally signed, a copy of which was sent to BusinessDay, Atiku noted that “Already, the nation suffered severe economic losses from the border closure, and the effects of the #COVID-19 pandemic.”
According to him, “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.”
He also noted that “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.”