The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, has instructed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Other Financial Institutions (OFIs), Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs) and local financial institutions to stop transactions in crypto or facilitate payments for crypto exchanges.
The directive was given in a letter addressed to all DMBs, OFIs and NBFIs dated February 5, 2020.
The circular signed by Director of Banking Supervision, Bello Hassan stated: “The CBN circular of January 12, 2017 ref FPRIDIRGENT R/06/010 which DMBs, NBFIs and OFIs and members of the public on the risks associated with transactions in cryptocurrency refers.
“Further to other regulatory directives on the subject, the bank hereby wishes to remind regulated institutions that dealing in cryptocurrencies or facilitating payment from cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited.”
CBN warned that a breach of this directive will attract severe regulatory sanctions.
The apex bank also ordered DMBs, OFIs, NBFIs, to identify persons and entities transacting in or operating cryptocurrency exchanges within their system and ensure that the said accounts be closed immediately.
Meanwhile, former lawmaker, Shehu Sani has reacted to the ban by CBN saying that it points only to the fact that the government is hell-bent on moving the country backwards.
His tweet read: “Why the ban on Cryptocurrency? Why are we running backwards?