Bitcoin Saves Africa: Nigeria’s Bank Prohibits Foreign Banknotes Deposits by DMBs
Central Bank of Nigeria prohibits the acceptance of foreign currency cash deposits by Deposit Money Banks.
“Bitcoin will Save Africa…” were the words of conclusion Tony Fakah (MBA), Head of Data Network Planning and Design at Phase3 Telecom, said during an interview with Cointelegraph in his office in Maitama Abuja, Nigeria, on Tuesday November 17th, 2015.
Fighting corruption and stabilizing economy
Tony Fakah works for Africa’s leading independent aerial fibre optic network infrastructure and telecommunications services provider - Phase3 Telecom. The company has a major influence in developing Africa's ICT market as it implemented the Wire Nigeria Project. The project was conceived by the Nigerian Communications Commission to help provide broadband Internet access to rural communities. That is why Tony Fakah knows what problems his nation faces.
The interview discussed the prevailing circumstances plaguing the biggest black nation in the world as it struggles between fighting corruption and stabilizing its economy.
It was an offshoot of the ongoing national debate which hovers around the current “foreign currency policy” by the Central Bank of Nigeria. In the circular released on Wednesday August 5th, 2015 and signed by Olakanmi Gbadamosi, the director of trade and exchange, the central bank said its actions followed recent statements by individual banks suspending the payment of foreign currencies into domiciliary accounts.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria has considered the recent statements by Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) concerning the large volume of foreign currencies in their vaults and the decision to stop accepting foreign currency cash deposits into customers’ domiciliary accounts as a welcome development. Therefore, in its continued efforts to stop illicit financial flows in the Nigerian banking system which aligns with the anti-money Laundering stance of the Federal Government, the CBN hereby prohibits from the date of this circular the acceptance of foreign currency cash deposits by DMBs”.
In his illustration, Mr. Fakah portrayed the scenario as the act of cutting the huge trees in the forest for the need of letting the undergrowth have access to adequate sunlight, but not without the ultimate cost of having a huge part of such undergrowth crushed by the weight of the falling trees. In his case the huge trees represented the mismanaged institutions while the undergrowth represented the hardworking private sector.
Redemption is near
“Redemption is near,” that was Mr. Fakah’s solid quote. He insisted, having studied the trend within the Continent and the West African sub-region especially with cryptocurrency, and in particular bitcoin will be all over the place in no time. He explained that when a businessman and his supplier can trade and transact without the service cost of middle-men, whom for now are the bereau de change, the cost of doing business will drop significantly. At that stage, goods and services become way more affordable and the general society will automatically pose no more resistance towards the well-intentioned government policies to fix the mega financial institutions, consequently every sector begins to function like a well oiled machine.
According to Mr. Fakah the CBN’s intention to regulate the use of cryptocurrencies, earlier this year is seen as a move that will further assist in laying a solid foundation for the much needed climate on the operations of virtual currency in Nigeria. This was disclosed at the second stakeholders’ consultative workshop in Nigeria’s capital: Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism, Abuja by Dr Okwu Nnanna, deputy governor of financial system stability at Nigeria’s Central Bank (CBN).
In his final words Mr. Fakah says:
“It is common sense, bitcoin will save Africa!!!”