Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is in an ongoing collaboration with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) working on regulations and a better understanding of cryptocurrencies.
The Director-General of SEC, Lamido Yuguda, at the 2021 post-Capital Market Committee (CMC) virtual news conference said in a statement, “We are in discussion with CBN for both understanding and better regulating of this market. We will be able to come back to you later to inform you of the outcome of these engagements.”
He continued, “But because of the lack of access to commercial bank accounts, we had to suspend our own guidelines of September 2020. The implementation of that circular is suspended until these operators have access to Nigerian bank accounts. Remember that nobody operates in the Nigerian capital market if that person does not have access to a Nigerian bank account.”
The announcement came in respect of the CBN ban on February 5, 2021, prohibiting banks from any crypto-related activity. The circular clearly states that all deposit money banks (DMBs), Non-Financial Institutions (NBFIs), and Other Financial Institutions (OFI) must not deal with cryptocurrencies or provide services to cryptocurrency exchanges.
Financial institutions were also informed to identify their customers who deal with cryptocurrency and close their accounts immediately as acting contrary would attract severe regulatory sanctions.
However, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel for crypto investors in the country with the SEC and the CBN planning on proper regulation of crypto bans.
Unminding the ban on crypto trading, which raised some objections, Yuguda specified that the SEC was not in opposition to Fintech but had always provided support to them. He also revealed that the commission is aware of the disruptions the CBN’s ban on access to Nigerian bank accounts by crypto exchanges has caused for the fintech market.
Regarding the SEC’s standing with fintech, the Director-General of SEC said, “Let me say that the SEC remains very supportive of fintech. We have invested so much in developing a framework for supporting fintech in the various areas and fintech are acting in areas of crowdfunding, investment advice, and cryptocurrencies and the like.”
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