‘Don’t Invest In Bitcoins, Ponzi Schemes As Form Of Investment’ – Senate Warns Nigerians
Timothy Adegbola, LAGOS, Nigeria (GVE) – The Senate, yesterday began probe into the proliferation of digital currency, bitcoin, and ponzi schemes in Nigeria, hereby warns Nigerians against investing in it.
The Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions is to investigate the viability of bitcoin as a form of investment and come up with recommendations on how to control its use and trade in it.
The committee was mandated to report to the Senate within two weeks.
The upper chamber asked the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, the Managing Director of Nigeria Deposit Insurance Commission, (NDIC) and the Management of Securities and Exchange Commission, (SEC) “to make an unequivocal statement across all the news platforms in all dialects on the dangers of bitcoin as a store of value in Nigeria”.
Also called on the National Orientation Agency, (NOA) to spread the news against all forms of wonder banks and Ponzi schemes operating in Nigeria.
In a motion titled; ‘Urgent need to investigate the proliferation of bitcoin, a form of Crypto-currency, to ascertain the worthiness of same as a form of investment in Nigeria’, following the adoption of a motion moved by Senator Benjamin Uwajumogu (APC, Imo North), at the plenary on Tuesday, the Senate notes with caution the alarming rate at which bitcoin, a form of digital currency, is being proliferated in Nigeria as one of the best forms of investment.
Speaking further that “this cryptocurrency is openly marketed across the country on the local television and radio stations, mostly to Nigerians not aware of the consequences”.
Uwaiumogu, expressed concern that Nigerians were “freely advised, and even persuaded to invest in crypto-currency as it promises quick returns, in certain instances, a triple or quadruple of the invested sum as profit within days.”
Acording to him to the lawmaker, “bitcoin is not recognised by the Central Bank of Nigeria, does not exist in any tangible form and is also not subject to any international or local monetary regulations, or backed up by any established government institutions.
The lawmaker also reminded the senate that the MMM bubble of 2016 (ponzi scheme) left millions of Nigerian families broken, devastated and many businessmen lost all their capital in the phony scheme.
A ponzi scheme is an investment opportunity that promises quick returns usually without any identifiable product or service rendered. It usually thrives on network marketing structures.
The Senate worried that “as Nigeria is recovering from recession, it will be devastating for our citizens to lose their hard-earned money on schemes they could easily have avoided had they been properly advised by the government,”
Lamented that the CBN, NSE, NDIC and the NOA are not doing enough to educate Nigerians on the investment risks inherent in Bitcoin.
Also expressed concerns that wonder banks like Bitcoin traders, Swiss golden traders etc. have carried on their businesses unchecked in Nigeria, mostly to the detriment of the citizens.
Failing or neglecting to educate the citizenry of the dangers inherent in investing in unverified schemes, especially one orchestrated by foreign syndicates, Nigerians run the risk of losing their life-savings and the economy risks losing the much needed forex to foreign criminals.”