The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Commission (ICPC) and Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) have backed the decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria to ban cryptocurrency use in Nigeria.
The chairman of ICPC, Bolaji Owasanoye, said the #EndSARS protest was largely financed by cryptocurrency, indicating that it could be used to fund insurgency.
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The NFIU boss, Tukur Moddido, said cryptocurrency failed the critical tests of vulnerability and attendant risks, noting that his agency averted a $3 million fraud linked to twenty bank accounts.
Addressing federal lawmakers at an interactive meeting with Senate Joint Committees on Banking, ICT, Cybercrime and Capital Market, Owasanoye stressed that cryptocurrency lends itself to money laundering and terrorism financing.
He further disclosed that the anti-graft agency currently has a number of cases linked to cryptocurrency but is unable to track the suspects.
The ICPC Chairman said while the CBN as a regulator has responsibility to ensure sound financial stability; it will be difficult to achieve in the case of cryptocurrencies where the role players were unknown.
The director/CEO, NFIU, Tukur Moddido said the agency’s cyber intelligence stopped a scam of roughly $3 million.
Earlier, CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, maintained its previous stance that Cryptocurrency was highly inimical to the Nigerian economy and could further weaken the naira.
“We know enough at this stage to decide that the opaque nature significantly threatens our transaction and as you know the CBN has the primary responsibility to protect the investment of every player in the space,” Emefiele said.
He said cryptocurrency was being used to facilitate scams and money laundering.
“Our business is not a popularity contest but to protect uninformed players. The decision we have taken is in the best interest of every Nigerian who has nothing to hide,” he said.
Speaking, the Director-General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Lamido Yuguda, said the use of cryptocurrencies could be regulated.
The SEC boss said his agency can develop an appropriate regulatory framework to protect investments in cryptocurrencies and ensure the operators are duly registered.