Nigeria’s foreign direct investment (FDI) was crippled by the ban on Twitter and cryptocurrency according to a new report, ‘Africa’s Urbanisation Dynamics 2022: The Economic Power of Africa’s Cities’.
It was gathered that the livelihood of youths, numbering millions, was significantly impacted by the arbitrary government policies, thereby, denying the country tax revenue from the population monetising digital innovations.
Ripples Nigeria had reported that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on February 5, 2021, directed banks to close accounts transacting cryptocurrency, this threw a spanner in the growing adoption of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the country.
The Twitter ban took effect on June 5, 2021, following the social media’s decision to delete one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s tweet which it found inciting.
While the ban on Twitter was lifted on January 13, 2022, the restriction placed on cryptocurrency transactions has remained, with banks locking customers out of accounts related to crypto.
The new report, which was supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the United Nations, said the crippled FDI was noted in the Financial Technology (Fintech) sector.
“The restrictions on cryptocurrency transactions and the outright ban of Twitter in Nigeria have crippled foreign direct investment in the fin‑tech industry and negatively impacted millions of young Nigerians who earn a living from the sector.
“Many have found a way, however, to lawfully bypass these restrictions and continue the business, effectively denying Nigeria the taxes and transaction fees that would otherwise come into the system.”
Cryptocurrency traders now use peer-to-peer to mitigate the crypto restriction, as the CBN, under Godwin Emefiele, had sanctioned FCMB, Wema Bank, Fidelity Bank with a monetary fine of N514.28 million to reflect its seriousness against the crypto.
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