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House of Representatives to investigate cryptocurrency and e-naira

called upon the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to retract its recent directive mandating banks to impose a 0.5 per cent cybersecurity levy on all electronic transactions within the country.

The House of Representatives has passed a motion to investigate the national security implications of cryptocurrency and other digital asset transactions.

Additionally, they will scrutinise the status of the e-naira on the global cryptocurrency platform, examining costs, processes, and statutory compliance in its creation.

During the reading of the resolution on Tuesday, Isiaka Ibrahim, a lawmaker from Ogun State, emphasised the urgency of investigating gateway platforms and their potential connections to security challenges in the country.

This move is said to be in reaction to growing concerns over the use of cryptocurrencies in illicit activities and their impact on national security.

In a related development, the House Committee on Financial Crimes had resolved to issue a warrant of arrest against executives of the cryptocurrency platform, Binance, for failing to appear before the committee for an ongoing investigation.

Chairman of the committee, Ginger Onwusibe stated that the warrant is to compel the executives to address allegations of sponsoring terrorism and financial crimes.

Despite a legal representative from Binance presenting a written address citing fears of further arrest by the Nigerian government, lawmakers rejected the explanation.

The rejection followed the recent arrest of two Binance executives in Nigeria, amid allegations of manipulating foreign exchange rates, leading to a significant devaluation of the naira.

In response to mounting pressure from Nigerian authorities, Binance has halted its naira services. This decision comes on the heels of the government’s demand for nearly $10 billion in compensation from the cryptocurrency firm.

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