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Muslim experts examine cryptocurrency, CBN ban at UNILAG Muslim alumni event

Umah Muhammed
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SOME Muslim financial experts have joined in criticising the ban of the digital currency, cryptocurrency, by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

They called for regulation of the system rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

The financial experts spoke at a virtual seminar put together by the University of Lagos Muslim Alumni (UMA) to X-ray the digital currency technology according to Islamic perspectives and enlighten Muslims on the financial system.

At the webinar themed ‘Digital Currency Technology: Islamic Perspective and Emerging issues’, the experts said agreed that impression should not be created that the internet-based financial system is evil, saying that issues that necessitated the policy banning the system should be addressed.

Speaking during the webinar, the president of (UMA), Dr Shuaib Salis, said the popularity of virtual currencies had surged by the time the CBN placed a ban on them.

According to him, there is the need to educate people, especially Muslims, on the digital currencies because not so many were familiar with them.

Dr Salis said: “We thought it fit to step in to provide a platform for enlightenment and education so that all of us will understand and get familiar with digital currency and also understand the perspective of Islamic finance and begin to look forward to how the currency could be regulated because digital currency is here the same way other virtual communications app came and were accepted.”

He said Islam has perspective on virtually every issue in the world as Allah says in Qur’an 6 verse 38 that “we have not left anything unmentioned.”

The chairman of the occasion, Dr Muiz Banire, commended the association for creating a platform where people could learn more about cryptocurrency.

Banire, a former chairman of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), said the policy of the CBN on cryptocurrency was not in the best interest of Nigerians.

He faulted the wisdom of the CBN in stopping money deposit from the operators of cryptocurrency.

He said he was one of the first persons to write against the ban and that with the basic knowledge he had about cryptocurrency but he saw no grounds for an absolute ban of cryptocurrency.

Associate Director, EY, Akeem Ogunseni, described cryptocurrency as strong, secure and reliable, saying “it has come to stay and will continue to gain prominence from one country to another.”

Ogunseni encouraged those who want to participate in the digital system of finance to create time to learn about it.

The Chief Executive Officer of TrustBanc Arthur, Dr Bashir Oshodi, in his contribution, said Shariah scholars were yet to agree on whether digital money is acceptable.

The Chief Executive Officer of ‎Marble Capital Ltd, Mr Akeem Oyewale, noted that the action of the regulators as far as digital currency was concerned was borne out fear of loss of investments that the citizens might be exposed to.

He stated that the regulators were also afraid because cryptocurrency could enhance money laundering which could be used for terrorism financing and other criminal activities.


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