The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has informed all deposit money banks in the country that they are now prohibited from facilitating crypto exchange transactions of any kind.
To this end, the banks were directed to identify and immediately close down all bank accounts within their systems that are currently being operated by cryptocurrency exchange platforms. They were also warned that failure to adhere to this directive would attract severe consequences.
See below the circular that was issued earlier today by the CBN to this effect.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) circular of January 12, 2017 ref FPR/DIR/GEN/CIR/06/010 which cautioned Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs) Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) and members of the public on the risk associated with transactions in crypto currency refers.
“Further to earlier regulatory directives on the subject, the Bank hereby wishes to remind regulated institutions that dealing in crypto currencies or facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited.
“Accordingly, all DMBs, NBFIs, and OFIs are directed to identify persons and/or entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges within their systems and ensure that such accounts are closed immediately.”
Note that the apex bank did not give any further explanation as to why cryptocurrency exchanges are prohibited in Nigeria. However, Business Elites Africa understands that the government has not particularly been very receptive towards cryptocurrencies.
Meanwhile, this development has already elicited numerous reactions on Twitter, with Nigerians expressing disappointment in the decision by the Central Bank of Nigeria. See some of the reactions below.
My bank called me threatening to flag my account if I use it to transact further with crypto exchanges.
— Futurist (@nathaniel_luz) February 5, 2021
CBN. Why dis? pic.twitter.com/AVY83x4VoT
— Moe (@Mochievous) February 5, 2021
“We don’t understand this soshu media thing”. “Work on a soshu media restriction bill”. “This crypto thing is corrupting our youths o. Can we ban youths? No. Yes!!!!!! We can ban crypto!” Jeez! I feel sick pic.twitter.com/EhtcarOQzK
— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) February 5, 2021