Atiku Condemns Shutdown Of Cryptocurrency Transactions, Calls For Reversal

Atiku Condemns Shutdown Of Cryptocurrency Transactions, Calls For Reversal

February 6, 2021 Off By Rasheed Makinde

Atiku Condemns Shutdown Of Cryptocurrency Transactions, Calls For Reversal

 

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Former Vice-President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar has kicked against the shut down of cryptocurrency transactions by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

In a statement released in the early hours of Saturday, Atiku opined that the move comes at a wrong time when the country is battling economic crisis.

On Friday, CBN issued a directive to all Nigerian banks against conducting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency transactions, saying it was an unregulated market and cannot be allowed as a legitimate source of exchange in Nigeria.

The decision sparked a nationwide uproar, with CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele coming under intense criticism for his alleged archaic policies that stifle economic growth in a country of about 200 million.

Mr. Abubakar has now joined in voicing concerns over the crypto ban on Saturday, saying CBN’s decision should be reversed.

Describing youth unemployment as an emergency in the country, he wondered why the government decided to restrict the inflow of capital into the country.

He expressed the focus of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration should be providing jobs and opening up the economy.

Atiku cited a report by National Bureau of Statistics which indicated that foreign capital inflow into Nigeria is at a four-year low, having plummeted from $23.9 billion in 2019, to just $9.68 billion in 2020.

He declared that the CBN’s move comes at a wrong time, urging that the policy to prohibit the dealing and transaction of cryptocurrencies be revisited.

Read the former vice president’s full statement below.

We Need To Open Up Our Economy, Not Close It

The number one challenge facing Nigeria is youth unemployment. In fact, it is not a challenge, it is an emergency. It affects our economy, and is exacerbating insecurity in the nation.

What Nigeria needs now, perhaps more than ever, are jobs and an opening up of our economy, especially after today’s report by the National Bureau of Statistics indicated that foreign capital inflow into Nigeria is at a four year low, having plummeted from $23.9 billion in 2019, to just $9.68 billion in 2020.

Already, the nation suffered severe economic losses from the border closure, and the effects of the #COVID19 pandemic.

This is definitely the wrong time to introduce policies that will restrict the inflow of capital into Nigeria, and I urge that the policy to prohibit the dealing and transaction of cryptocurrencies be revisited.

It is possible to regulate the sub sector and prevent any abuse that may be inimical to national security. That may be a better option, than an outright shutdown.

There is already immense economic pressure on our youths. It must be the job of the government, therefore, to reduce that pressure, rather than adding to it.

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We must create jobs in Nigeria. We must expand the economy. We must remove every impediment towards investments. We owe the Nigerian people that much.

Atiku Abubakar
Vice President of Nigeria, 1999-2007
6th February, 2021.