The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned Nigerians on the need to exercise caution, regarding cryptocurrency, insisting that such financial transaction is yet to receive the approval of any regulatory body in the nation’s financial sector.
Giving this warning, in his keynote address, on Wednesday, at a webinar organised by First Bank Nigeria Plc, to sensitise the Nigerian public on the antics of cybercriminals, the Director, Banking Supervision, CBN, Bello Hassan, described it as risky for Nigerians to transact in cryptocurrency, for now, since it remains unregulated in this part of the globe.
Hassan, who was represented by Dr Adedeji Adetona Sikiru, an official of the apex bank, stated that since cryptocurrency, remains unregulated, individuals that invest in such venture could be taken advantage of, and there would be no channel, through which they could seek redress.
“Let me say for the umpteenth time, cryptocurrency is not yet a legal transaction in Nigeria. It is not yet regulated either by CBN or any regulatory authority in the nation’s financial sector, and that is why we need to be very careful. CBN has not regulated or put anything forward for cryptocurrency, and I will therefore advise Nigerians to be wary of such transactions since it does not provide them with the opportunity of redress, should the transaction go awry,” he added.
While commending First Bank Nigeria Plc for organising the webinar, Hassan expressed the readiness of the apex bank to collaborate with the nation’s commercial banks in educating the banking public on the different methods being employed by cybercriminals to perpetrate frauds.
He argued that cybercrime had continued to increase; since more Nigerians were gradually embracing digital banking.
Hassan, however, believed that for the war against cybercrime to be successfully prosecuted, it had become imperative to enlighten the banking public on the need to be cyber smart.
“Implications of cyber fraud are always grave. For instance, besides giving a negative perception of the bank’s security system, it also makes the affected customer lose confidence and faith in the bank and the nation’s financial sector.
That is why this type of enlightenment campaign is good for the sector, in its war against cybercrime; since most of these frauds would not have been successful without the input of the affected customer.
Speaking on the topic, Mr Harrison Nneji of the First Bank, explained that the webinar was being organised to create more hurdles for cyber thieves, by educating the nation’s banking public on how to guard against cyber fraud.
He assured that the bank would continue to engage stakeholders in the industry, especially the apex bank and the banking public, in its fight against cybercrime.