The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has warned commercial banks and other financial institutions to desist from dealing in cryptocurrency, declaring it illegal.
It thereby ordered the closure of such accounts in commercial banks with immediate effect.
The apex bank stated this on Friday in a statement on its official website by Mr Bello Hassan, Director of Banking Supervision and Mr Musa Jimoh, Director of Payments System Management.
It said that the warning was in furtherance of a 2017 circular which cautioned Deposit Money Banks (DMBs), Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs) Other Financial Institutions (OFIs) and the public about inherent risks in such transactions.
“Further to earlier regulatory directives on the subject, CBN hereby wishes to remind regulatory institutions that dealing in crypto currencies or facilitating payment of crypto currency exchange is prohibited.
“Accordingly, all DMBs, NBFIs and OFIs are directed to identify persons transacting in, or operating crypto currency exchange within their systems and ensure that such accounts are closed immediately.
“Please note that breaches of this directive will attract severe regulatory sanctions. This letter is with immediate effect,” the CBN said.