Business & Economy
CBN and global instability, vulnerability of cryptocurrencies
When in February, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed banks and other financial institutions to cease transactions in cryptocurrencies and facilitating payment for cryptocurrency exchanges, several stakeholders raised concern about the directive.
In the memo, dated February 5, the apex bank instructed banks and other financial institutions to identify individuals or entities that transact in cryptocurrency or operate cryptocurrency exchanges and close their accounts.
The memo was sequel to an earlier 2017 warning by the CBN that cryptocurrencies were not legal tender and that investors were unprotected. It explained that cryptocurrencies transaction was devoid of proper regulation and prone to financial crimes.
In spite of assurance by the CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, that the directive was not inimical to the development of technology-driven payment system in Nigeria, many stakeholders still kicked against it.
They urged the apex bank to revisit the ban and see digital currencies as a tool for economic growth.
Emefiele had explained that the Nigerian payment system had evolved significantly over the past decade, boosted by reforms driven by the CBN, adding that cryptocurrency had no place in the Nigerian monetary system.
Sometime in May, the price of Bitcoin, which is the most popular cryptocurrency, fell drastically, after China imposed fresh restrictions. China had earlier banned banks and payment firms from providing services related to cryptocurrency transactions, and warned investors against speculative crypto trading.
Crypto-currency trading has been illegal in China since 2019 in order to curb money-laundering, but people were still able to trade in currencies such as Bitcoin online.
Mr Elon Musk, Chief Executive Officer, (CEO) of Tesla, an auto manufacturer, was also accused by stakeholders of contributing to the fall in value of cryptocurrencies.
After his electric car company invested 1.5 billion dollars in Bitcoin in February, and assuring consumers that he would accept Bitcoin as payment for Tesla cars, Musk reversed that decision, citing the environmental effects of mining new coins.
This further resulted in a fall in Bitcoin of more than 10 per cent. Meanwhile, other digital currencies such as Ether, which acts as the fuel for the Ethereum blockchain network, and Dogecoin also plummeted in value.
Early in the week, Bitcoin jumped past 30,000 dollars as Elon Musk said Tesla is “most likely” to start accepting it as payment again.
This instability in value, and vulnerability to policy decisions from both state and non-state actors further accentuated the high risk involved in cryptocurrency. It also vindicated the idea by CBN to suspend its transactions in the Nigerian banking system.
Many countries are yet to come up with effective and efficient means of regulating the cryptocurrency space conceived to be a money laundering den and a tool for terrorists.
Due to the anonymous mode of transactions of these currencies, the world’s biggest criminal groups seem to have made them convenient and global source for laundering money.
Meanwhile, the CBN has assured Nigerians that it would soon create its own, more secure digital currency.
Emefiele said this while addressing journalists after the last meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) in May.
He said that the idea of a digital currency would soon become a reality in the country, and that the central bank had already set up a committee, which is working on the concept.
CBN’s Director, Information Technology Department, Mrs Rakiya Muhammed, at the end of the meeting explained that the Bank had been conducting research in regards to central bank digital currencies since 2017 and may conduct a proof of concept before the end of the year.
“Currently, there are two currencies, notes and coins. The CBN’s digital currency will be a third type of currency to supplement cash. Rather than carry cash about, digital currency lodges the money in a mobile phone,” she said.
Citing a recent report which indicated that Nigeria was at about 60 per cent in financial inclusion, she explained that the proposed CBN digital currency would enhance the inclusion drive, reduce the cost of cash management as well as enable innovations in the nation’s financial market.
The director noted that, with a target of 80 per cent at the end of the year, such a step needed to be taken to raise the percentage of the nation’s financial inclusion.
She added that a central governance structure would be set up to address all associated risks with a view to ensuring that the Nigerian public got the best technology for the digital currency.
Also, Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Lamido Yuguda, revealed that SEC was working with the CBN for a better understanding and regulation of cryptocurrencies in the country.
Analysts expressed confidence that a collaborative effort by the CBN and SEC would go a long way to deliver a safe digital currency platform in the country.
As the frailties and instability in cryptocurrency investment continue to manifest across the globe, and as more countries continue to take more stringent steps to restrict and regulate its transactions, stakeholders are commending the CBN for having the foresight to blaze the trail in identifying inherent dangers in cryptocurrency and restricting its transactions.
CBN’s move tallies with the thoughts of policymakers around the world, who have been considering the idea of central banks issuing their own digital currencies, called Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) and to be made available to everyone, rather than just to licensed commercial banks.
Analysts agree that a national digital currency managed on a single network could allow money to change hands almost instantly like in crypto transactions, but in a more secure business environment.
***If used, please credit the writer and the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
Business & Economy
Dangote Refinery Will Generate ‘Massive Job Opportunities’ – Aliko
The President of The Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, on Monday, said his refinery will generate “massive” job opportunities for the teeming Nigerian youths.
He stated this in Lagos during the commissioning of the 650,000 bpd Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The project is expected to churn out Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), diesel (AGO), aviation jet fuel and Dual-Purpose Kerosene (DPK), among other refined products.
“The refinery operation will generate massive job opportunities in their hundreds of thousands,” he said while highlighting the benefits of the refinery.
“The refinery will make available to our industries vital raw materials to a large range of manufacturers in the pharmaceuticals, food, beverages, construction and many other industries.”
The businessman also expressed thanks for the “massive” support for him and The Dangote Group towards the creation of the Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals plant.
He appreciated Buhari and Nigerians for the immeasurable support his company received from the inception of the project to its completion.
“What I want to share with Nigerians is actually to show my personal gratitude and that of The Dangote Group, for all the assistance that we got from the President, from the Federal Government of Nigeria, from even the President-elect, because he also set the pace by creating the Lekki Free Trade Zone as part of his dream.
“And also we want to thank most especially Governor Fashola, Governor Ambode and most especially Governor Sanwo-Olu; because they have given us all the assistance that we were looking for.
“We thank all Nigerians for giving us their support which is too numerous to mention,” the industrialist said.
Business & Economy
Dangote Refinery To Generate 12,000 Megawatts Of Electricity – CBN
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has said that the newly inaugurated Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemicals will help Nigeria generate more power for its electricity sector.
Speaking today at the inauguration in Lagos State, Governor of the apex bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said the Dangote Refinery is expected to generate 12,000 megawatts of electricity.
He further stated that over 135,000 permanent jobs will be available to Nigerians as operations get underway.
According to him, it is also expected that the refinery saves Nigeria between $25 and $30 billion in forex annually.
Like a venture that continues to give, the refinery Emefiele says will further give the economy an inflow of $10billion yearly.
In his opinion, the Dangote Refinery is an indication that Nigeria can produce whatever it Needs.
Business & Economy
SANWO-OLU PRAISES BUHARI, TINUBU, DANGOTE CONTRIBUTIONS TO NIGERIA’S FIRST PRIVATE REFINERY
•LASG has provided enabling environment for private sector growth, says Dangote
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, said the stories of President Muhammadu Buhari; President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote are a testament that prosperity can be achieved when leaders have shared vision for the people they are leading.
Sanwo-Olu shared three different stories on how President Buhari, Asiwaju Tinubu and Dangote are connected to the newly commissioned first privately owned refinery in Nigeria, the Dangote Petroleum Refinery in Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, said the three leaders have shown Nigerians that leadership is about consistency and commitment to Nigeria’s economic growth.
He said: “The vision of Aliko Dangote, President Muhammadu Buhari and incoming President Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is a story of possibility when men have a shared common vision, purpose and they have the possibility that things can happen, things can change and things can be prosperous for the people they are leading.
“These three men; Aliko Dangote, President Muhammadu Buhari, and President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu epitomise all the great qualities of great leadership. They have shown us that nothing can be something. They have shown us that leadership is about consistency. It is about showing that whatever it is that you believe in, give it all it takes and at the end of it you will see the results coming out.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu while commending Dangote, said the business mogul is a completely detribalised Nigerian who has impacted many lives positively.
He said: “To our son Alhaji Aliko Dangote, we are indeed truly proud that you have put Nigeria and indeed Africa on that world map in which you have done the very first. We are proud of your belief in your country and your belief in the youth that you are giving the opportunity to. We are proud of the fact that you are a Nigerian that is completely detribalised and you have imbibed it in many ways.
“It is about the opportunity this (refinery) has provided for all the youth and young people of our country. It is about the fact we can say to them the work these three men – Mr. President, Alhaji Dangote, and our incoming president have done and will continue to do.
“It is about our future. It is about providing an opportunity for the youth because over 150,000 direct and indirect jobs that will be created are for our youths; young leaders that are in their 20s and their 30s for them to believe that indeed Nigerian is a place for them. Nigeria considers them as an important and veritable tool in developing and ensuring the very best.
“I want to also thank our President-elect who propelled a vision of what we are enjoying today. As governor and as Lagosian, he was the main architect of the modern history of the trajectory of Lagos and we are hopeful and praying that when he comes in as president, all of those additional vision that he has will come to reality.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu, who was part of the birth of the Lekki free zone in 2006 during the tenure of Tinubu as Governor of Lagos State, praised the host communities for showing hospitality to investors in the area.
“I want to use this opportunity to thank our host community. This community has been the host to several firsts in our country and I want to thank all of them; from the traditional rulers to all of the indigenous citizens that have continued to reflect the true spirit of Lagos to be able to show hospitality and accommodation in everything that we are about,” he said.
Governor Sanwo-Olu also commended President Muhammadu Buhari’s eight years in office, saying the people of Lagos State are proud of what the President has done for Nigeria.
He said: “You (President) have spent 2,915 days out of 2,922 days that you have. Mr. President, you have spent 99.98 percent of your time. Mr President history will certainly judge you well. We in Lagos are happy. This is your third trip to the Lekki Free Zone in less than a year.
“We are proud of you. We are indeed excited that you have thrown everything you have into it and as you bow down, I might not have the opportunity of holding a microphone again, I want to say to you, that on behalf of Lagos State, we are truly proud of the things that you have done for us in this country.”
Speaking earlier, Dangote commended Lagos State Government under the leadership of Governor Sanwo-Olu for providing an enabling environment for private sector growth, particularly the Dangote Refinery.
He said: “Lagos State Government has been exceptionally remarkable in their efforts toward the completion of this project.
“The Lagos State Government under the leadership of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has provided an enabling environment for private sector growth in the state and this project. It has allowed us to invest over $30 billion in different sectors of the industry.”
Tinubu’s inauguration: We’re in charge here – Enenche dares witches, wizards coming to FCT
ShareThe Senior Pastor of Dunamis International Gospel Center, Dr Paul Enenche has issued stern warning to witches and wizards coming...
Seun Kuti Thanks Family, Friends, Lawyers After Freedom
ShareAfrobeat musician, Seun Kuti, has expressed gratitude to his family members, friends and legal advisers for their support towards his...
10th Senate: Count Me Out Of Senate Presidency Race – Lawan
Share The President of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan has denied reports that he aspiring for the position of the...
Gov AbdulRazaq emerges new Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum Governor AbdulRazaq AbdulRahman of Kwara state has emerged as the new Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum. This is contained in a press statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye Wednesday morning to journalists in Ilorin. According to the statement,the exalted office was bestowed on him by his colleagues. The governor among others pledged to uphold the ideals and vision of the NGF as a most credible, authoritative, influential and effective inter-party platform for consensus building and peaceful resolution and advancement of pan-Nigeria goals, interests and aspirations The statement reads,”I want to thank Allah, exalted is He, for the historic event in which my brother Governors bestowed upon me the Chairmanship of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF). It added that,”The significance and the huge responsibilities of this office are not lost on me. “I hereby pledge to uphold the ideals and vision of the NGF whilst recognising and appreciating the eminent track record of the institution as a most credible, authoritative, influential and effective inter-party platform for consensus building and peaceful resolution and advancement of pan-Nigeria goals, interests and aspirations. “l will ensure regular consultation with all members in order to arrive at consensus on all issues for the advancement and promotion of national interest, peace, progress, and stability of the nation.” “As a body, we will also continue our tradition of maintaining a close and cordial relationship with His Excellency the President, the National Assembly, all Federal and State institutions, the business community, the civil society, media, and development partners. “Finally, l wish to thank my dear colleagues for the confidence reposed in me as the new Chairman of NGF.”the statement ends
Share Governor AbdulRazaq AbdulRahman of Kwara state has emerged as the new Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum. This is contained...
Senate Confirms Dabiri-Erewa’s Reappointment As NIDCOM Boss
Share The Senate has confirmed the nomination of Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa for reappointment as the Chairman and CEO of Nigerians...