The Senate has mandated its Committees on Banking and Insurance, Capital Market, ICT and Cyber Crimes to invite Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr Godwin Emefiele to brief it on cryptocurrency transactions.
The resolution followed adoption of a motion by Sen. Gyang Istifanus (PDP-Plateau) at Thursday’s plenary on CBN’s decision to stop financial institutions from transacting in cryptocurrencies.
Gyang in his presentation said the CBN directive to financial institutions was a follow up to its earlier directives of January 2017 and February 2018 which forbade banks from using, holding and trading in cryptocurrencies.
He said the decision was predicated on the need to safeguard the economy from adverse effects of cryptocurrency regime which were unregulated digital currencies issued by anonymous entities
He, however, said the CBN directive had attracted sharp reactions from Nigerians and had become a topical subject of national discussion.
He said cryptocurrency was both an opportunity and a threat hence, the Senate had a responsibility to ensure that Nigeria and its citizens don’t miss out in the opportunities that cryptocurrency offered.
Contributing, Sen.Biodun Olujumi (PDP-Ekiti) said Nigeria did not create a cryptocurrency and therefore could not possibly kill its operation.
She said Nigeria should not exclude itself from global technological development shaping the world.
“We can regulate and manage cryptocurrency transactions in Nigeria,we can not kill it because some of our youths are working hard and doing great in technology,” she said.
Sen.Bassey Akpan(PDP Akwa Ibom) said Nigeria must not shy away from technological development, saying that the country must follow the trend in technology in the world.
President of Senate Ahmed Lawan, in his remark, said that the CBN needed to educate Nigerians on cryptocurrency transactions especially its impacts on the economy and security.
He said the Senate wanted more information before it can be guided on next line of action, noting that the motion may not be the last on cryptocurrency as issues were still developing.