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ECONOMY

Invest in Bitcoin at your risk, CBN warns

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says people who invest in cryptocurrencies do so at their own risk because they are not protected by the law.

The apex bank sounded the warning in a statement released on Wednesday by Isaac Okorafor, acting director in charge of corporate communications.

The bank said virtual currencies like Bitcoin, Ripples, Monero, Litecoin, Dogecoin and Onecoin are not legal tender in Nigeria and NairaEx were not licensed or regulated by the CBN.

The CBN said transactions in virtual transactions in virtual currencies were “largely untraceable and anonymous thereby making them susceptible to abuse by criminals, in money laundering and financing of terrorism”.

“Dealers and investors in any kind of cryptocurrency in Nigeria were not protected by law, thus may be unable to seek legal redress in event of failure of the exchangers or collapse of the business,” the statement said.

The CBN had in January 2017 issued a circular urging banks and other financial institutions to be wary of virtual currency operations in Nigeria.

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ECONOMY

HOSPITALS’ SHUTDOWN AMID EBOLA NEXT DOOR: So much fear inside us

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The nation’s health sector is in crisis. With the shutdown of federal and state health facilities, patients are groaning. The situation is dicey. Reason: The facilities mostly serve the common man who doesn’t have the resources to access medical care in private hospitals. Meanwhile, his accessing healthcare in public institutions now is like the camel passing through the eye of the needle because the institutions have been shut down by striking health workers.

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ECONOMY

Naira crashes against dollar at parallel market

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The Naira on Friday depreciated against the dollar at the parallel market in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the Nigerian currency lost one point to exchange at N363, weaker than N362 posted on Thursday, while the Pound Sterling and the Euro closed at N496 and N429, respectively.
At the Bureau De Change segment, the naira closed at N361.50 to the dollar, while it exchanged at N502 and N428 to the Pound Sterling and Euro, respectively.
Trading at the investors’ window showed that the naira closed at N360.85 and had a turnover of 202.47 in the transaction.

Currency traders said that though the naira depreciated marginally, it had remained stable at the foreign exchange market.

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ECONOMY

Governors consider taking over fuel subsidy, query payment of N800bn

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The 36 state governors have threatened to take over the responsibility of subsidising petroleum products in their states based on consumption, following the huge amount of money being spent by the NNPC as fuel subsidy payment annually.
Abdulazeez Yari, governor of Zamfara, disclosed this while responding to questions after the national economic council (NEC) meeting on Thursday.
He said in June, the governors would take decision on whether to take responsibility for the subsidy in their states or not.
He described as outrageous the N800billion being expended by the NNPC as subsidy, saying NEC must decide whether to allow NNPC to continue with the payment or not.
“Our problem is the volume, the quantity of consumption which is not acceptable,” he said.
“Working with the governors so many decisions were taken but by next month, we are going to adopt that position either for the governors to take responsibility for the subsidy in their states based on the consumption or we look at other ways.
“For instance, if you say we paid N800 billion subsidy, you will ask who are we paying the subsidy to? And if you look at infrastructure development and capital programme of the federal government, it is about N1.1 trillion, almost 70 per cent of what you are spending on developing the economy.
“If there is no infrastructure development then you cannot talk about development of the economy. N800 billion is a huge amount that we must look at it, who is benefiting from it.
“So we are coming up with a strategy, we are going to meet in the month of May and June. By next meeting, we will definitely come up with a position of the government at both level of volume of what is being brought into the country and what the state and Federal Government collaborate to check.”
The governor disclosed that the minister of state for industry, trade and investment briefed the NEC on the establishment of the Nigerian Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council which was approved by Federal Executive Council (FEC) in 2017.
“The Industrial Council recognises that there is need for collaboration between the Federal Government (FG), State and Local Government to drive the industrialisation agenda,” he said.
“The briefing today was to present the eight initiatives and recommendations from the Industrial Council that requires State Governments intervention.”

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