Nigeria's Securities and Exchange Commission in Talks with CBN Regarding Cryptocurrency Regulation

By: Henry Felix

Nigeria's Securities and Exchange Commission in Talks with CBN Regarding Cryptocurrency Regulation

April 19, 2021 5:35 AM

The SEC has revealed that talks are currently ongoing with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) regarding crypto regulation in the country.


According to the regulators who repeated that due to the CBN directives that was issued on February 7, 2021, which overides the SECs crypto guidelines handed out in September 2020.


Crypto Guidelines Set Aside

However, the regulator promises that at the conclusion of its engagements with the CBN, stakeholders will be informed of the outcome. Meanwhile, in his comments that were made during a Q1 Capital Market Committee (CMC) virtual conference, Lamido Yuguda, the director-general of SEC, tries to justify the regulator’s decision to suspend its own guidelines. He said:


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 are able to have access to Nigerian bank accounts.


He adds this was the only logical step to take since no one can operate “in the Nigerian capital market if they do not have access to a Nigerian bank account.”


Support For All Fintechs

Still, Yuguda claims the SEC is “very supportive of fintechs” after the regulator “invested so much in developing a framework for supporting fintechs in the various areas.” He also adds:


In all other areas, nothing has changed, but in the area of crypto assets, you know that with the recent prohibition by the CBN on access to Nigerian bank accounts by crypto exchanges, that market has been disrupted.


As reported by Coinnewsafrica, the CBN issued a directive that prohibits banks from facilitating transactions that involve crypto entities. The CBN directive appeared to contradict an earlier SEC circular that seemingly endorsed cryptocurrencies. The ensuing confusion soon forced the SEC to abandon its crypto guidelines and to express support for the CBN’s decision.


However, in his latest comments, Yuguda attempts to reassure the crypto industry by stating that the regulator will “continue to engage players and support them to operate lawfully.” Ultimately, the SEC says it wants “to ensure the delivery of safe products and services without stifling innovation.”