By Adedapo Adesanya
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) appears not to be backing down on its decision to restrict cryptocurrencies trading in the country as the Governor of the bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele, has described digital currencies as “money created out of thin air.”
Mr Emefiele, while appearing before a joint Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions; ICT and Cybercrime, maintained that the ban on digital currencies in the country was in the best interest of Nigerians.
In a video circulating online and seen by this media organisation, while addressing the Senate committee, Mr Emefiele remarked that, “Cryptocurrency is used to describe players in a dark world where transactions are extremely opaque, they are black; they are not white, they are not visible and they are not transparent.”
He further said, “Cryptocurrency is not legitimate money. Cryptocurrency has no place in our monetary system at this time and cryptocurrency transactions should not be carried out through the Nigerian banking system.”
Mr Emefiele submitted that cryptocurrencies were creating anxieties for regulators around the world and noted in an unverified claim that most banking regulators in the world do not recognise it.
He affirmed that the central bank was steadfast in its resolve to intensify its surveillance and deeper understanding of the crypto ecosystem.
The CBN Governor emphasised that the major objective of the banking authority remains to educate Africa’s largest economy on emerging financial risks and protect Nigeria’s financial system from the activities of money launderers, currency speculators, and foreign-based fraudsters.
Business Post had reported earlier this month that the CBN directed Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) and other financial institutions to desist from transacting in and with entities dealing in cryptocurrencies.
In a statement that read in part, the apex bank said, “Due to the fact that cryptocurrencies are largely speculative, anonymous, and untraceable, they are increasingly being used for money laundering, terrorism financing, and other criminal activities. Small retail and unsophisticated investors also face a high probability of loss due to the high volatility of the investments in recent times.
“In light of these realities and analyses, the CBN has no comfort in cryptocurrencies at this time and will continue to do all within its regulatory powers to educate Nigerians to desist from their use and protect our financial system from the activities of fraudsters.”
The ban came at a time when cryptocurrencies were gaining traction around the world on the back of one of its best performing periods yet.
Nigeria is the second-largest cryptocurrency market in the world and many analysts have described the decision of the central bank as a step in the wrong direction.
FG to Announce New Date for Postponed FAAC Meeting for May 2022
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The federal government has said it would announce a new date for the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting for this month, which was shelved in a circular on Wednesday.
On Wednesday, the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning released a statement to announce the postponement of the FAAC Meeting for May 2022 over certain circumstances connected with the arrest of the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Ahmed Idris.
Mr Idris, who is a key member of the FAAC team, is cooling off in the custody of the agency over an alleged N80 billion fraud. He is helping the EFCC in its investigation into the issue.
As a result of his arrest and suspension from office by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, the meeting for this month was shelved.
In the circular signed by the Director of Home Finance at the Ministry, Mr Stephen Okon, the federal government assured that “the new date for the meetings will be forwarded to you in due course.”
The gathering, which is held to share revenue generated by the country in the previous month to the three tiers of government; federal, states and local governments, was earlier slated to take place this month on Wednesday, May 18 and Thursday, May 19, 2022.
But Mr Okon stated in the notice that, “I am directed to inform you that the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meetings earlier scheduled to hold virtually on the 18th and 19th May 2022 have been postponed due to certain circumstances.”
Bulls Return to Unlisted Securities Market on 0.21% Growth
By Adedapo Adesanya
The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange welcomed the bulls back into its fold on Thursday following a 0.21 per cent growth at the close of business.
The bulls were at the unlisted securities market yesterday at the invitation of Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) and Food Concepts Plc, which recorded price appreciations during the session.
NDEP Plc gained N10 or 4.6 per cent to close at N220.00 per share as against the N210.00 it closed at the last session, while Food Concepts Plc appreciated by 6 kobo or 6.5 per cent to close at 93 kobo per unit compared with 87 kobo per unit of the previous session.
The gains reported by the duo expanded the NASD unlisted securities index (NSI) by 1.66 points to 808.79 points from 807.12 points and equally increased the market capitalisation by N2.17 billion to N1.06 trillion from N1.05 billion.
At the market yesterday, the trading volume rose by 17,545.7 per cent as a total of 20.0 million units of shares exchanged hands compared with the 113,500 units of shares transacted on Wednesday.
In the same vein, the trading value rose by 749.3 per cent to N24.4 million from the previous day’s N2.9 million, while the number of trades went down by 28.6 per cent to five deals from seven deals.
AG Mortgage Bank Plc remained the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis with 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc stood in second place with 661.7 million units worth N13.9 billion, while Food Concepts Plc was in third place with 134.0 million units valued at N114.9 million.
In the same vein, CSCS Plc ended the session as the most active stock by value on a year-to-date basis with 661.7 million units worth N13.9 billion, VFD Group was in second place with 9.4 million units valued at N2.9 billion, while AG Mortgage Bank Plc in third place has transacted 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion.
Naira Drops 0.34% at P2P, 0.26% at Investors’ FX Segment
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Naira depreciated against the Dollar at the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) segment of the foreign exchange (FX) market on Thursday by 0.34 per cent or N2 to trade at N615/$1 compared with the previous day’s N613/$1.
Also, at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window, the Nigerian currency depreciated against the greenback yesterday by 0.26 per cent or N1.08 as it traded at N420.33/$1 in contrast to Wednesday’s closing value of N419.25/$1.
It was the second consecutive trading day that the local currency is coming under pressure amid disruption in the supply of forex to the market by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The demand for FX is relatively high at the moment because politicians are trying to get foreign currencies to woo delegates to their sides to obtain tickets to contest in the 2023 general elections.
Data from the FMDQ Securities Exchange indicated that at the investors’ FX segment yesterday, transactions worth $75.56 million were executed, 62.47 per cent or $125.78 million lower than the $201.34 million achieved a day earlier.
However, at the interbank segment of the FX market, the domestic currency closed stronger against the Pound Sterling by 38 kobo to trade at N516.49/£1 versus N516.87/£1 and against the Euro, it gained 37 kobo to sell at N437.48/€1 versus the preceding session’s N437.11/€1.
At the cryptocurrency market, nine of the 10 tokens monitored by Business Post recovered, with the crisis-hit coin, TerraUSD (UST), further losing 21.4 per cent to quote at $0.07479.
Ripple (XRP) rose by 7.2 per cent to $0.432, Litecoin (LTC) gained 4.8 per cent to trade at $69.99, Cardano (ADA) appreciated by 4.6 per cent to sell at $0.5304, Binance Coin (BNB) grew by 4.2 per cent to trade at $307.16, while Ethereum (ETH) went up by 3.7 per cent to $2,017.41.
In addition, Bitcoin (BTC) jumped by 3.6 per cent to $30,086.44, Dogecoin (DOGE) moved higher by 2.6 per cent to trade at $0.0862, Solana (SOL) recorded a 1.5 per cent appreciation to sell at $51.09, while the United States Dollar Tether (USDT) gained 0.01 per cent to settle at $0.9989.
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