Nigerians have condemned the actions and statements of the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, for defending the recent ban on cryptocurrency transactions in Nigeria’s financial ecosystem.
When appearing before a joint Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions; ICT and Cybercrime on Tuesday, Emefiele stated that the Crypto ban was in the best interest of Nigerians.
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“First to remind everyone that cryptocurrency which is the main pros of our sitting this afternoon is generally referred to or regarded as an electronic or digital currency that is issued by largely unknown unregulated elements using compute codes that are basically meant to encrypt or hide information about the transactions and the operators,” he had said.
The head of the nation’s apex bank also attributed the cryptocurrency financial system to a dark world or shady undertone, which cannot be monitored by financial regulators.
He said, “Cryptocurrency is used to describe the activities of the players in an electronic dark world, where transactions are extremely opaque, they are black and not white. They are not visible and they are not transparent.
“In another parlance, there are people who deal in transactions that not only want a trail but indeed by its nature cannot be trailed. I’m sure that these definitions alone are scary enough to create anxiety for any regulator or central bank in any part of the world.
“And that’s is the reason, virtually all regulators in the world do not recognize it. Since many Nigerians deft into its usage, we have been studying the development.”
Reacting to Emefiele’s position, Nigerians on Twitter including one of the #EndSARS campaigners whose accounts were frozen by the apex bank in November for their role in the protest against police brutality, Victor Babatunde, faulted the decision, saying it was a witch-hunt targeted at the youth and their investment plans.
“The only reason the CBN governor is pushing for a cryptocurrency ban is because Nigerian youths now prefer to invest there rather than save in commercial banks with zero interest,” Victor Babatunde (@vhic_tore) tweeted.
Al’ameen (@Al_ameen_Yabo) also commented: “Our CBN governor doesn’t even know what cryptocurrency is. How Nigeria ended with stupid and unwise old people as the heads of everything is sad.”
Odogwu (@Daddy_Nomso) said, “Emefiele, an Alumnus of Havard talking about Cryptocurrency like an illiterate making it seems like Antichrist’s currency. Man’s talking about Dark World when we haven’t had constant light for 60 years, you are worried about the wrong DARK WORLD.”
“CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele actually thinks that Cryptocurrency is created out of thin air. A whole Central Bank Governor? I go soon leave this country for una,” Elvis Tunde7 (@Tunnykvng) tweeted.
“That CBN Governor is very unintelligent,” Roviel @ObongRoviel lamented. “From that his speech you can see why our economy is where it is right now. He couldn’t even use google to carry out his research on cryptocurrency. He just read everything from Jehovah Witness manual.”
Another Twitter user with the handle, @brysonadachole, wrote, “CBN governor is angry they don’t have enough money to trade in foreign exchange because Nigerian youths now hardly keep their money with banks. Stamp duty charges for a whole year can buy me Christmas chicken, bossman. I’m wiser.”
“CBN Governor Emefiele said cryptocurrency is created out of thin air,” Ola Elixir @thegreatola reacted. “If that’s not the most stupid speech ever, I don’t know. How can you refuse to learn and be an enemy of innovation? Nigeria is a joke.”
SaharaReporters, New York