Nigerian central bank governor does not advise citizens against crypto trading
The governor of Nigeria’s central bank has once again clarified his stance on cryptocurrencies.
Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, who had earlier banned banks from operating crypto exchanges, has once again clarified the bank’s stance on the use of cryptocurrencies in the country.
According to local news portal TodayNG, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Adamu Lamtek, speaking on behalf of Emefiele, said the bank had not banned Nigerian citizens from Bitcoin Pro buying, trading or selling cryptocurrencies. He said it was „protecting the banking sector from the activities of cryptocurrencies“. Lamtek made this clear at a seminar for financial correspondents and business editors in the capital, Abuja.
„The CBN has not restricted the use of cryptocurrencies and we are not discouraging people from trading in them,“ Emefiele said. „We have only imposed a ban on transactions in cryptocurrencies in the banking sector.“
Last month, the CBN announced in a circular that it was banning all regulated financial institutions from servicing crypto exchanges in the country. In the ban, all commercial banks were ordered to close accounts belonging to crypto exchanges and other businesses that deal in cryptocurrencies in Nigeria. The bank warned of „severe regulatory sanctions“ for institutions that violate the rule. Some account holders at Nigeria’s Access Bank have already reported that their accounts have been closed.
Emefiele had earlier said cryptocurrencies were „not legitimate money“ that had no place in Nigeria’s monetary system. The governor said at the time that the central bank was closely studying the crypto industry to better understand its impact.
However, many regulators and crypto enthusiasts in Nigeria have criticised the ban
Lawmakers in the Nigerian Senate have proposed inviting the CBN governor and key crypto stakeholders to a hearing to discuss issues related to crypto regulation in the country.
Since the CBN imposed the crypto ban, there has been a premium on Bitcoin (BTC) in the country. In the US, the exchange rate stands at US$57,349. According to data from crypto exchange Luno, BTC is trading at US$97,509 in Nigeria, over 70 per cent more expensive.