Atiku Abubakar, former vice president has rapped the Federal Government over the knuckles on its decision to ban cryptocurrency transactions.
Reacting angrily on the policy, the astute business man and politician said that the government should not add to the burden of unemployment, but should focus on opening of the economy and job creation.
Recall that the Federal Government, through the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) on Friday ordered dire non-bank financial institutions (NBFIs), and other financial institutions (OFIs) to close accounts of persons or groups involved in cryptocurrency transactions within their systems.
Speaking in a statement on Saturday, Atiku noted that the economy is already in downward trajectory due to fall in crude oil prices and coronavirus pandemic, adding that this is a wrong time to discourage investment in cryptocurrencies,.
Atiku urged CBN to revise its directive immediately.
“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,” he said.
“What Nigeria needs now, perhaps more than ever, are jobs and an opening up of our economy, especially after today’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.”
He advised the government to remove impediments and work towards creating jobs to reduce the burden on youth.
“It is possible to regulate the sub sector and prevent any abuse that may be inimical to national security. That may be a better option, than an outright shutdown,” it reads.
“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.”