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Atiku slams Nigerian govt, CBN for banning cryptocurrency transactions

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Former Vice President and presidential candidate in the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, has slammed the Federal Government as well as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), over its order to banks to shout down cryptocurrency operations.

Atiku, in a statement on Saturday, faulted the apex bank over the policy, noting that with the present economic downturn in the country, Nigerians need all the help they can get to get out of the present economic quagmire.

In a statement titled, “We Need To Open Up Our Economy, Not Close It,” Atiku said the policy came at a very wrong time.

“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 said.

“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.

“What Nigeria needs now, perhaps more than ever, are jobs and an opening up of our economy, especially after reports by the National Bureau of Statistics indicating 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.

Read also: Atiku receives Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in the UAE

“Already, the nation suffered severe economic losses from the border closure, and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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.

“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.”

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