Nigerian lawmakers have strongly opposed the recent action by Nigeria’s Central Bank, demanding it appears in front of the senate to explain itself.
“I am strongly against the outright ban of this medium of exchange by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). What the CBN should be telling Nigerians are the regulations put in place to regulate the activities of the operators,” said Solomon O. Adeola, a Nigerian lawmaker, adding:
“All over the world, these cryptocurrencies are regulated. The operators of this so called currency are everywhere.
I would indulge this Senate to allow the regulators also to be invited so that they can also tell the Committees their own position concerning the operation of cryptocurrency in Nigeria.”
Other lawmakers agreed, with Senator Sani Musa stating bitcoin has made their fiat currency, Naira, “useless” or worthless. He said:
“Cryptocurrency has become a worldwide transaction of which you cannot even identify who owns what. The technology is so strong that I don’t see the kind of regulation that we can do. Bitcoin has made our currency almost useless or valueless.
If we have an economy that is very weak and we cannot regulate cryptocurrency in Nigeria, then I don’t know how our economy would be in the next seven years.”
Another senator highlighted the innovation going on in this space, stating cryptos can bring progress to Nigeria’s economy. Senator Biodun Olujimi said:
“We didn’t create Cryptocurrency and so we cannot kill it and cannot also refuse to ensure it works for us. These children are doing great business with it and they are getting result and Nigeria cannot immune itself from this sort of business.
What we can do is ensure bad people must not use it. This motion is most important to us. The time has come for us to harmonize all the issues concerning cryptocurrency.”
The matter ended with the Senate mandating “the Committees on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions, ICT and Cybercrimes, and Capital Market to invite the CBN Governor for briefing on the opportunities and threats of the Crypto currency on the nation’s economy and security and to report back findings within two weeks.”
The Nigerian Central Bank prohibited commercial banks from facilitating crypto transactions, in effect banning it which is unconstitutional as only parliament or the senate can make law.
Bitcoin is not illegal in Nigeria, thus these lawmakers appear to be outraged at the actions of their central bank, so demanding answers within two weeks.