Godwin Emefiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, says that banks are banned from trading with crypto companies, but there is no ban on people trading in crypto. This clarification comes after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) banned financial institutions from providing services to crypto exchanges and companies.
Speaking at a seminar for the Finance Correspondents and Business Editors in Abuja, deputy governor Adamu Lamtek stated on behalf of Godwin Emefiele that through this ban, CBN “[protected] the banking sector from the activities of cryptocurrencies,” but that doesn’t mean that Nigerian residents are banned from buying, selling, and trading cryptocurrencies.
The Central Bank of Nigeria announced this ban last month, which prohibits all regulated financial institutions from servicing crypto exchanges in the country. Moreover, all commercial banks were directed to close all accounts that belonged to crypto exchanges and other crypto companies in Nigeria.
The governor of the CBN had previously referred to cryptocurrencies as “not legitimate money,” saying at the time that there was no place for them in the country’s monetary system.
The ban has been criticized by regulators and crypto enthusiasts alike, and the CBN governor and crypto stakeholders were even invited by some lawmakers to take part in a hearing in order to discuss crypto regulations in Nigeria.
Since the ban was put in place, the price of BTC has been trading at a premium in Nigeria, rising to a more than 70% premium and thus reaching $97,509.