Bala Na’Allah, deputy senate leader, says he prefers to count his money himself than invest in bitcoin.
Na’Allah said this on Tuesday while speaking on a motion entitled ‘The need to investigate the proliferation of Bitcoin in Nigeria’.
It was sponsored by Benjamin Uwajumogu, senator representing Imo north.
“I don’t do internet banking. I like to count my money myself. I’m analogue, I don’t want to go digital. It is safe that way,” he said.
“They will just go and pop up something and return them (Nigerians) back to square one. It is not nice, it is not ethical and I think we must intervene in this kind of situation.”
Earlier, Uwajumogu noted that Nigerians were persuaded to invest in cryptocurrency for quick returns.
“Aware that JP Morgan, the world-renowned investment bank, in a conference held in New York City USA, and as reported in the US guardian, noted that ‘the digital currency (bitcoin) was only fit for drug dealers and would eventually blow up’,” he said.
“The MMM bubble of 2016, left millions of Nigerian families broken, devastated and many businessmen lost all their capital in the phony scheme. That the primary objective of the government is to protect the life and welfare of its citizens, including their investments.”
He said the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigeria Stock Exchange, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Commission, National Orientation Agency (NOA) were not doing enough to educate Nigerians on the investment risks inherent in bitcoin.
Also contributing to the motion, Dino Melaye, senator representing Kogi west, said such investment should be regulated by the authorities.
“Many lost their lives due to MMM. No country, no intelligence agency will allow financial scams like MMM, Bitcoin to operate in the borders of their country. Nigeria is so docile that everything comes in,” Melaye said.
“If it is a lottery, it should go through national lottery commission; if it is a form of exchange of currency, the CBN can regulate that. The motion is coming because as a senate we need to defend the people.”
The senate therefore urged the CBN and the NSE to make an unequivocal statement across all the news platforms in all dialects on the “dangers of bitcoin”.
The senators also called on the NOA to spread the news against all forms of wonder banks and Ponzi schemes operating in the country.
Last week, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the CBN, said investing in cryptocurrency such such as bitcoin is a risk that could not be supported by the apex bank.