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Atiku suggests FG reviews 2017 cryptocurrency accounts policy

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

Following the Federal Government ban on cryptocurrency, a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has recommended that the Federal Government review the country’s 2017 transactions policy to conform with global financial practices.

Atiku said that the policy would further increase the country’s youth unemployment ratio which the cryptocurrency transactions have helped to reduced, getting sizeable number of youths employed across the country.

He stated that the policy, if not reviewed, could further leave the country’s economy that was already in recession, in a bad shape considering the foreign capital flow that had nosedived beyond the expected proportion recently.

This advice, which was contained in a statement on Saturday, was in reaction to the directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to banks and other financial institutions to close accounts of any individual or organisation that engages in cryptocurrency transactions.

While decrying that the nation had already suffered severe economic losses from the border closure and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the former presidential candidate warned that introducing policies that would restrict the inflow of capital into Nigeria could harm the fragile economy more.

Urging the government to revisit the policy prohibiting the dealing and transaction of cryptocurrencies, he argued that rather than an outright shutdown, the government could regulate the sub-sector and prevent any abuse that may be damaging to national security.

Atiku said: “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 yesterday’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 damaging 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. 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”.

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