From Fred Itua, Abuja
The African Centre for Justice and Human Rights (ACJHR), has expressed delight at the recent policy introduced by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which mandated Deposit Money Banks, Non-Financial Institutions, and other financial institutions not do business in crypto and other digital assets.
Executive director of the body, Chinwendu Nduka Edede, said the directive by the CBN is bold and courageous, maintaining that it will halt sources of funds for terrorism, money laundering and other illicit transactions in the country.
It said the criticisms that greeted the ban were expected from those behind the illicit transactions. It said the attacks were being sponsored.
Edede said: “The ACJHR views this bold and courageous decision at this time of the nation’s history as a welcome development. An unbiased review of the policy will reveal to objective minds that the ban will go a long way in halting growing financing of terrorism, money laundering and illicit transactions in the country.
“We are not unaware of the criticisms that the policy had attracted to the CBN and its governor, Godwin Emefiele, but they are not completely unexpected.
“It is expected that those who benefit from the vices the ban is intended to curb will not sit back and watch but will want to fight back vigorously by way of sponsoring attacks on the apex bank and its governor.
“We are confident that the ban would obstruct the financial transactions of terrorists and bandits, who get funds for their illicit activities through cryptocurrencies. The crypto ban has no doubt dealt a fatal blow on terrorist financing in Africa and Nigeria.
“In the long run, Nigeria and the entire continent will gain tremendously from the ban. We therefore urge all stakeholders to support the CBN to ensure the success of this patriotic and well-thought out policy.
“We also advise the CBN not to be deterred by the barrage of criticisms that has so far trailed the introduction of the policy because we know that in the long run, Nigerians and Africans will appreciate the decision better when the inherent benefits begin to manifest for all to see.”