Reactions to a recent circular by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reminding financial institutions that the ban on cryptocurrencies, aka cryptos, was still in place have been fast and furious. A vast majority of those who hold a contrary opinion have described the ban as a “hasty, spurious, nonsensical and unwinnable war” that threw a lot of Nigerians into “a state of confusion, frustration and inconvenience.”
In a press release captioned “It Is Time To Open The Economy, Not Close It,” former Vice President and 2019 presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar waxed lyrical on the incongruity of the ban when many Nigerian youths are unemployed and more foreign domestic investment is needed.
Former Minister of Education Obiageli Ezekwesili interpreted the ban to mean that “Nigeria is unprepared to embrace the future,” dubbing it “an egregious regress-into-Stone-Age policy” for full effect. Former Senator and ‘common sense’ guru Ben Bruce warned the CBN against making “a hasty decision,” although it beats the imagination to see how a reminder of a memo written as far back as 2017 can be said to be “hasty.”
A motion co-sponsored by Senators Instifanus Dung Gang (Plateau North-APC) and Tokunbo Abiru (Lagos East-APC) claims that crypto transactions have become a “revolution,” so it is ‘insane’ to stand in the way of “a revolution like this.” For crying out loud, should the Nigerian publics consequently eager look forward to similar ‘open sesame’ motions regarding older ‘revolutionary’ economic activities like prostitution, trafficking of children and women, armed robbery, kidnappings and drug trafficking?