The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has asked the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to regulate the operations of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies.
Osinbajo, who spoke yesterday during a one-day special summit on the economy by bank chief executive officers with the theme ‘CBN/ Bankers’ Committee’s Initiative for Economic Growth’, said he fully agreed with the positions of SEC, CBN and other anti-corruption agencies on the dangers of trading in cryptocurrencies, but the right thing to do was to regulate their operations.
The CBN had two weeks ago banned banks and other financial institutions from trading on cryptocurrencies or providing banking services to companies involved in the business.
CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the decision to prohibit deposit money banks, non-banking institutions and other financial institutions from facilitating trading and dealings in cryptocurrency was in the best interest of Nigerian depositors and the country’s financial system.
Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye (SAN), said virtual assets and cryptocurrency can be used for terrorism financing and kidnapping. He said cryptocurrency and other virtual means are risky for Nigeria which is grappling with security challenges.
Likewise, Director/CEO, NFIU, Tukur Moddido, kicked strongly against cryptocurrencies, pointing out that it failed the critical tests of vulnerability and risks.
According to Modibbo, the NFIU, through its Cyber Intelligence, stopped a scam of roughly $3 million recently.
However, Osinbajo said their positions should be the subject of further reflection.