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Osinbajo Opposes CBN Ban on Bitcoin, Cryptocurrency, Advocates Regulation

Mr. Osinbajo, a professor of law, spoke as a guest at the CBN Bankers’ Forum holding virtually and also onsite at Eko Hotels and Suites in Lagos.

Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President of Nigeria, on Friday, has said that the country needs to regulate cryptocurrency, instead of the ban put in place by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Mr. Osinbajo, a professor of law, spoke as a guest at the CBN Bankers’ Forum holding virtually and also onsite at Eko Hotels and Suites in Lagos.

“There is a need for regulation and not the banning of cryptocurrency,” Mr. Osinbajo was quoted to have said by Business Africa.

The event is set against the country’s exit from its second recession in five years, and is focused on sustainable economic recovery.

The theme of the one-day special summit is “How to Overcome the Pitfalls of Recession: Bankers Perspective and Prescriptions for an Enduring National Growth Path”.

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At the plenary session held on Tuesday at the Senate, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele described cryptocurrency as “money that is created out of thin air” and described the transactions as “Opaque”.

The vice-president’s statement comes nearly two weeks after the Central Bank ordered banks on February 5 to close customer accounts used in trading cryptocurrencies.

Banks such as Access Bank, First Bank, and GTB complied with the directives, closing accounts of customers who carried out their transactions in cryptocurrencies.

The apex bank gave fraud, illicit funding for terrorism and other threats to national security as reasons for the ban. The decision was met with harsh criticisms from the general public and the legislature where the house was divided.

Public affairs analysts say the vice-president’s take on the ban on cryptocurrency underscores the incoherence that has become apparent in the policy making processes of the Buhari administration.

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