The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Nigeria has stated that it is collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to better understand and regulate cryptocurrency in the country.
This was reported by SEC Director-General Lamido Yuguda at the first post-Capital Market Committee (CMC) virtual news conference in 2021.
According to Yuguda, the commission is in negotiations with the CBN to gain a deeper understanding and control of crypto assets.
Due to a lack of access to Nigerian bank accounts, the commission has placed the implementation of crypto asset guidelines on hold, he said.
“We’re discussing with the CBN about better understanding and controlling of this market.
“We’ll be in touch with you later to let you know how these engagements turned out.
“However, due to a lack of access to commercial bank accounts, we were forced to suspend our own September 2020 guidelines, and the implementation of that circular has been put on hold until these operators are able to access Nigerian bank accounts.
“Keep in mind that no one can work in the Nigerian capital market unless they have a Nigerian bank account,” he said.
However, Yuguda stated that the SEC remained committed to Fintechs and had invested heavily in creating a platform to support their operations.
The statement came after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced last week that fintechs that provide Nigerians with access to foreign securities were operating illegally. Bamboo, Rise Jacket, and Chaka are examples of such platforms.
“Let me start by saying that the SEC continues to be a strong supporter of fintech. We’ve put a lot of effort into building a platform for assisting fintechs in a variety of fields, and fintechs are now operating in areas such as crowdfunding, investment advice, and cryptocurrencies, among other things,” he said.
The apex bank’s prohibition on crypto exchanges having access to Nigerian bank accounts, according to Yuguda, has disrupted the market.
“Nothing has changed in all other areas, but you are aware that the demand for crypto assets has been disrupted as a result of the CBN’s recent prohibition on crypto exchanges having access to Nigerian bank accounts.
“And the truth is that, while the SEC released guidelines in September 2020 aimed at controlling this market, for all intents and purposes, the market does not exist right now because these exchanges do not have access to commercial bank accounts in Nigeria,” he said.
The commission, he says, understands the effect of FinTechs on capital market activities.
He assured the public that the SEC will continue to be accommodating of the situation.
“We will continue to involve players and assist them in conducting themselves lawfully.
Yuguda said, “Our aim is to ensure the delivery of healthy goods and services without suffocating innovation.”
As a result, he urged FinTech firms to consult the Commission for proper registration and to stop operating illegally.