The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has directed all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs) and Other Financial Institutions (OFls) to close the the accounts of crypto currency users.
The CBN in a circular BSD/DIR/GEN/LAB/14/001 issued on Friday, ordered all financial institutions “to identify persons and/or entities transacting in or operating crypto currency exchanges within their systems and ensure that such accounts are closed immediately”.
A breach to this directive, “will attract severe regulatory sanctions”- CBN to All financial institutions.
According to the CBN, “dealing in crypto currencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited”.
The circular was signed by Bello Hassan, Director of Banking Supervision and Musa I Jimoh Director, Payments System Management Department; and the order is to take immediate effect.
Meanwhile, social media influencer, Japheth Omojuwa is not in support of the decision made by CBN. He said that “the CBN wants to kill businesses”.
Also reacting to the CBN directive, Professor Uche Uwaleke of Nasarawa state University said the decision may not be unconnected with the fact that “the CBN and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are not yet ready with regulations guiding crypto asset trading platforms operations in Nigeria.”
He urged the public to see this directive by the CBN to banks “in the light of the risk that unregulated crypto currency trading could pose to the financial system.”