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One time presidential candidate, Kingsley Moghalu, has said that within the last five years, $500 million worth of Bit coin has been traded in Nigeria.
Moghalu, a former Head of Directorate of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (a unit which he says is in charge of the financial systems), disclosed these figures while reacting to the recent CBN policy which directed all banks to close accounts that transact in crypto currency.
Moghalu made this known during an interview on Channels Television’s “Sunday Politics”.
He faulted the move of the apex bank, saying that regardless of the risks involved in trading in crypto currencies, he would not recommend that it be banned out rightly.
“A lot of the activities in the world are going digital and I would not recommend banning it (crypto currencies) outright,”.
“$500 million worth of Bit coin has been traded in Nigeria within the last five years and Nigeria is one of the top 10 countries in the use of crypto currencies in the world today”.
He further explained that it is becoming a real factor in the country’s investment ecosystem, as well as a livelihood for many Nigerians.
The Central Bank of Nigeria on Friday, ordered all banks to close accounts of anyone who transacts in crypto currency.
The order was contained in a circular to banks and other financial institutions, signed by the Director of Banking Supervision, Bello Hassan, and was expected to take effect immediately.
According to the CBN, dealing in crypto currency or facilitating payments for crypto currency exchanges is prohibited.
Moghalu However faulted the directive and echoed the sentiments of many other Nigerians, noting that the move is seen as though the government is always taking actions aimed at taking away opportunities from Nigerians especially in a depressed economy.
He believes that any investment has risks and if he was in a position to make a decision, it would be to balance the risks as against the current realities of the country.
According to the former presidential candidate, regular currencies depreciate in value as against crypto currencies such as the BTC but many Policies from the bank in the past few years have not been favorable.
“The Nigerian Government should try to make the investment climate far more friendly and efficient than it is now.
“It is unfriendly, that’s why the foreign investment is declining,” he said.