As a business person or an investor in Nigeria, it is only normal that before putting your resources in anything in Nigeria, you need to admit that sooner or later, the Nigerian system would bring up something that would affect that thing which you are about to put your money in negatively, and it’s always sooner, not even later). Also, after putting your money in it, you have to not be able to relax because you must continually think that that means of making money isn’t secure for you, because, mate, no means of making money is secure in Nigeria; you can start it today and get screwed tomorrow. That’s how we roll here.
To not sentimentally base my submission on just the part of the system screwing the entrepreneurs and investors up, let’s ask ourselves, this recent situation of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) banning the trading of digital monies, does the Nigerian economy actually need that policy? Of course the answer to that is simple and direct, and it is a very big YES; converting Naira to another money that is not Nigerian and is higher valued than Naira affects negatively the value of Naira. So the Nigerian system needed to make policies to stop this kind of trading or find other ways it could benefit Nigeria even when it affects the Naira negatively. However, that last statement should stir your mind.
This is my argument against the recent CBN policies against the purchasing of digital currencies. First of all, that policy was not made to rescue the Naira or anything like that, it was definitely made out of the government’s realization—after what happened during the End SARS protests—that the digital transfer of monies across borders makes it easy for any cause to be funded from abroad, and most of the causes we have springing up at this time are against something incompetent or oppressive the government is doing, and the government would do anything to sabotage any cause against them—good or bad.
The like of this policy is the Social Media Bill that has been under debate for a while now, and will surely be passed to law someday, as the people behind it are never going to stop lest the freedom of expression of the Nigerian people is checked. This system is tyrannical, and would do anything to kill opposition and criticism, and also make it impossible for external help. Here is how you know the CBN ban on money trading and the Social Media Bill are not to protect the country in anyway: why does the system want us to be like America in everything, but when it comes to anything that gives freedom to the people, the system tries to remove from it like it’s not part of the things that come with democracy?
If the ban of the money trading is for the good of Nigeria, it wouldn’t be implemented at all. Why? Because there is the greater good from trading money from Nigeria than the negative effects it may have. Trading monies online with Naira replaces it back with gains after the loss incurred from converting Naira to a higher-valued money. So, such transaction does not really devalue the Naira, the worst it can do to it is to have it remain the same if it cannot appreciate it. How does trading other monies with Naira appreciate the Naira? A lot of people in Nigeria are earning income now just because of the currency trades, their banks get charges and taxes from every trade they make, the government get returns from these charges and taxes, hence, Nigeria gets blessed, Naira gets blessed back. Also, the rate of unemployment reduces, and the inflow of new money to Nigeria increases. These are all good for the country’s economy. See this, our people running abroad is not good for the country, as it is brain-draining, but when they keep sending money into the country, that is good for the country’s economy. So there is the good in every bad, we just have to broaden the good instead of cutting away the good and the bad together. But the Nigerian system is either not capable of seeing how the good coming with bad events could be benefitted from, or they are seeing it, and not just doing it because to avoid the bad is not actually the reason why they make their policies, but to reduce the people’s freedom by all means or benefit themselves greedily. God save Nigeria, and Nigerians from this mess.
Olusegun Peters is a businessman, an investor and a scholar. He is the founder of primerinfotech.com and pec-ng.com. He is passionate about contributing his knowledge to impacting as many people as possible one person at a time. Read more about Olusegun Peters here