CBN allay fears, says Nigerians funds are safe in banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has assured depositors of the safety of their funds in Nigerian banks, reiterating the health of deposit money banks in the country.

The apex bank, in a statement on Wednesday signed by its acting Director of Corporate Communications, Hakama Sidi-Ali, dismissed reports (not by Channels Television) that the Federal Government will take over some CBN-supervised banks after a report by CBN’s special investigator, Jim Obazee.

Obazee, appointed CBN Special Investigator in July 2023 by President Bola Tinubu, had indicted ex-CBN governor Godwin Emefiele, in his report to the President, saying the ex-bank chief allegedly used proxies to set up two financial institutions, fuelling speculations that the apex bank might take over the two banks.

The CBN, in its statement, said, “The Central Bank of Nigeria has noticed reports, in certain media outlets, about a recommendation for the Federal Government to take over some CBN-supervised financial institutions.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Nigerian banks remain safe and sound. The CBN encourages the public to continue their regular activities without being alarmed by reports that have not emanated from the CBN about the health status of Nigerian banks.

“The CBN is fully equipped to carry out its statutory duty of upholding a stable financial system in Nigeria.

“We assure the general public and depositors about the safety of their funds in Nigerian financial institutions.

“Bank customers are therefore advised to proceed with their banking transactions as usual, as there is no cause for concern.”

Meanwhile, the CBN recently released some guidelines for virtual assets to allow virtual assets service providers (VASPs) which include cryptocurrencies and crypto assets organizations to open accounts with Nigerian banks.This came two years after the apex bank had restricted banks and other financial institutions from operating accounts for cryptocurrency service providers.

The guidelines, issued to all banks and other financial institutions on Friday, December 22, 2023, stipulate conditions for opening an account by virtual assets providers.

The CBN, however, emphasized that banks and other financial institutions are still prohibited from holding, trading, and/or transacting in virtual currencies on their account.

The apex bank said the issuance of the guidelines was prompted by the current global trends pointing to the need to regulate the activities of virtual VASPs.

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About the Author: Olusola Sorinmade

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