The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor, Godwin Emefiele, says digital currency “will come to life even in Nigeria” during the 279th MPR meeting held in Abuja on Monday, 25th of May.
Emefiele acknowledged his country’s position as one of the leading crypto markets in the world and expressed his displeasure at the fact that many Nigerians have embraced cryptocurrencies. He said:
“We have carried out our investigation and we found out that a substantial percentage of our people are getting involved in cryptocurrency which is not the best. Don’t get me wrong, some may be legitimate but most are illegitimate.”
“Under cryptocurrency and Bitcoin, Nigeria comes 2nd while in the global side of the economy, Nigeria comes 27th. We are still conducting our investigation and we will make our data available.”
Emefiele voiced his concerns surrounding digital assets using the CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk’s uncertainty as an example.
“We saw the market collapse. Initially, when Elon Musk tweeted around the time when we said our banking and payment facilities are no longer available for cryptocurrency transactions and he tweeted that he will invest $1.5 billion and the price (Bitcoin) went up. He now tweeted and raised a few concerns and the thing (Cryptocurrency) plunged.”
After stating his concerns, the CBN governor went on to say, “We are committed in the CBN and I can assure everybody that digital currency will come to life even in Nigeria.”
The CBN issued an order to financial institutions to shut down all accounts associated with cryptocurrency trading back in February. The CBN’s directive to banks failed in its objective, peer-to-peer cryptocurrency trade volumes in the country surged as Nigerians interest in cryptocurrencies continues to grow.
Deputy Governor Adamu Lamtek, speaking on behalf of the bank’s Head, Godwin Emefiele in March, said the CBN did not place restrictions from use of cryptocurrencies and are not discouraging people from trading in them, said Lamtek. “What we have just done was to prohibit transactions on cryptocurrencies in the banking sector.”