NIGERIA:NIBSS Backs Ban on Bitcoins, Virtual Currencies
The Managing Director/CEO, Nigeria Interbank Settlement System (NIBSS), Ade Shonubi has backed the recent decision of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to ban the use of Bitcoins and other virtual currencies in the country.
Speaking yesterday in an interview on the sidelines of the launch of Ficannews.com, an online news website published by Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN), the NIBSS boss pointed out that there was yet to be a framework for transacting in virtual currencies in the country.
“Most of the problems with virtual currencies recently, that we have seen, like the MMM, was for fraud. And that is the warning from the CBN. Nigerians must not get carried away. So, generally I am with them (CBN). I am not aware that there is anybody that has been licenced or registered with the central bank to either issue or trade with digital currency in Nigeria.
“I am not aware that the CBN has come out with a framework. The reason why they came out clear was when MMM was offering high rate or people who would go digital, through virtual currencies. It was a means to take money out and many people were gullible,” Shonubi explained.
Speaking earlier, he reiterated the rising significance of digital or online media in financial news reporting, saying it is where the future lies. According to him, FICAN had responded to the new trend in news reporting, and that he expects the website to provide timely, comprehensive and financial intelligence report on businesses and economy.
Shonubi, who unveiled the website, said it was also expected to be the focal point of financial news publication locally and internationally. He said the new generation of readers rely so much on online publications, and will find ficannews.com, a reliable ally in meeting their daily news needs.
“Any organisation that refuses to go online will die like dinosaur. The online is the future of journalism and I am glad that FICAN understands that fact. Building the website is key but keeping it running is equally important. We will keep the website running for the next one year. It is important that the website sustains its attractiveness and educative qualities to its audience,” Shonubi said.
FICAN Chairman, Babajide Komolafe, said the website launch was a celebration of relationship with the association’s critical stakeholders.
“We are confident that the financial industry and other critical stakeholders in the business world will take advantage that the website presents and promote their brands,” he said.
The acting Director, Corporate Communications, at the CBN, Isaac Okorafor, praised FICAN for the website launch, adding that it presents great opportunity for the financial industry.
Okorafor, who was represented by Manager, Corporate Communications, CBN Lagos Office, Uchenna Ogbonna, said he was confident the website will live up to expectations.
Head Corporate Communications, Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) Jude Nwauzor, said the corporation has a long-standing partnership with FICAN which will continue. He said the partnership will continue to thrive.
Head of Media at United Bank for African, Nasir Ramon, said the website will be a reference point in financial news reporting in the years ahead because of the quality of work put to it.
Likewise, Union Bank’s Head of Media, Olufemi Adekola, said website will become a pace setter and improve the level and quality of financial news reporting in the industry.
President and Chief Executive Officer, VAS2Nets, a technology firm that built the website, Ayo Stuffman, said it was developed based on international best practices and will meet the daily and hourly news needs of the public. He said the company was happy to celebrate with FICAN for the milestone which he believes would be sustained.