Godwin Emefile, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, has defended the main bank’s decision to ban banks from serving cryptocurrency exchanges in the country.

Senate Joint Committee meetings on banking, insurance, and other financial institutions; Information and communication technology and cybercrime; And capital market, Emefile indicated that banning CBN is in the interest of Nigerians.

According to Punch’s media report, addressing the Senate Committee, Emefile noted:

“Cryptocurrency is not legal money. There is currently no place for cryptocurrencies in our monetary system, and cryptocurrency transactions should not be conducted through the Nigerian banking system.”
The CBN governor also assured that despite the ban, the central bank has been trying to improve the situation in the new digital asset space.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, the Nigerian Senate has called on the Governor of CBN along with other heads of federal regulators to hear more regulatory action on cryptography.

Other organizers attending the session also expressed CBN’s negative stance, with Bolaji Ovasanoi, head of the Independent Commission Against Corruption and Other Related Crimes, linking the cryptocurrency to terrorist and kidnapping activities.

Ovasanoe repeats the vulgar, imprecise rhetoric that cryptocurrencies are opaque. However, the industry has a wide range of forensic capabilities under the auspices of analyst firms such as CipherTrace and Chainalysis.

In fact, these organizations help law enforcement agencies in many countries to catch crime gangs involved in crimes such as drug trafficking and child pornography.

According to the 2020 Crime Report, Chainalysis found that only 0.34% of all cryptocurrency transactions in the year were related to criminal activity. Meanwhile, according to a September 2020 report by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, money laundering through regular financing accounts for 2.7% of global GDP.

Lamido Yogoda, chief executive of the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission, has also appeared before a Senate committee. Yogoda said the SEC decided to temporarily suspend planned regulations for digital assets after the CBN ban.

Earlier in February, the SEC said the cryptocurrency market was too big to ignore. At the time, SEC President Timi Agama said the commission was working with other relevant agencies to create a legal framework for digital assets in Nigeria.

Senator Aoba Sane of the Central Senate District in Kaduna, chaired by the commission, pledged that the commission would work to accommodate all guidance received from relevant stakeholders without any prior advice.

Since the CBN ban, Bitcoin (BTC) price premium in Nigeria has increased regularly. At the time of writing, this premium has grown to over 67%.