Senate Warns Nigerians Against Use Of Bitcoins

Federal lawmakers on Tuesday called for more investigation into cryptocurrencies to protect Nigerians from the unverified and risky investment.


Beaming its searchlight on the cryptocurrency phenomenon, the lawmakers said it is important for the Federal Government to pay attention to the proliferation of cryptocurrency schemes in the country.

“It (Bitcoins) does not exist in any tangible form and it is also not subject to any local or international monetary regulation or backed by any established government institution,” one of the lawmakers said, while calling for the education of Nigerians on the dangers of the currency.

Bitcoin ads in Nigeria are well-circulated as they appear on social media and are even aired on local television and radio stations with the promise of a huge financial windfall.

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) warned in 2017 that anyone trading in Bitcoin is doing so at his or her own risk as cryptocurrencies are not legal tenders in Nigeria.

Meanwhile, Senator Magnus Abe called the attention of the lawmakers to the arbitrary bank charges and illegal deductions by commercial banks.

He also asked the Senate to look into what he termed ‘unjust remedies’ which the CBN offer to victims of excess and illegal deductions by commercial banks.

“Aware that the Central Bank of Nigeria on the 20th of February reported that it had recovered over N2.6billion from depositors fund from banks as excess funds imposed on their customers in 2015 alone,” he said.Another lawmaker said many bank customers don’t care to look through the terms and conditions when opening a bank account but only lament when the bank charges are deducted from their accounts. Others were of the view that banks have the obligation of being honest to their customers.

The Senate thereafter directed its committee on banking to conduct a public hearing to amend the laws, rules and guidelines which do not protect customers and does not provide for a substantial remedy when overcharged by commercial banks.
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