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CBN directs OPay, Palmpay, Kuda Bank, and Moniepoint to stop registering new customers

The Central Bank of Nigeria has barred some microfinance banks, including Moniepoint, Opay and Kuda, from opening new accounts and accepting new customers over allegations that they were being used to funnel cryptocurrency and manipulate the naira’s value, sources familiar told Peoples Gazette on Monday.

Sources confided in The Gazette anonymously since they were not authorised to speak publicly on the matter, asserting that the CBN deemed the new-account-ban necessary to curb money-laundering activities which have seen the naira again plunge against the dollar in recent days.

The naira, as of Monday evening, traded at N1350 against the dollar, which is a regression against the steady climb that the Nigerian currency has made over the past few weeks as it traded to N950 in early April.

“Hello! We’ve temporarily paused new sign-ups on our platform,” Moniepoint wrote in a message on its platform for intending customers on Friday. “This means that you’ll be unable to open a new account at the moment. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

Following the drastic depreciation of the naira in February which nearly exchanged at N2000 to a dollar, CBN, in collaboration with anti-graft commission, EFCC, cracked down on Binance and detained its executives Tigran Gambaryan, a U.S. citizen and British-Kenyan Nadeem Anjarwalla over accusations of naira manipulation.

The Nigerian government demanded that Binance release the names of its top 100 users and their transactions to negotiate the release of the detained executives.

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