Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission has announced that it is working in tandem with the Central Bank of Nigeria to lift the ban on cryptocurrency trading and for better understanding and regulating of cryptocurrencies.
This was revealed by the Director-General, Lamido Yuguda, at the 2021 first post-Capital Market Committee virtual news conference.
He stated that the exchange commission had halted the implementation of cryptocurrency assets guidelines due to a lack of access to Nigerian Deposit Money Bank accounts.
The Director-General said a discussion with the Central Bank of Nigeria for both understanding and better regulating of the crypto market is ongoing and an outcome will be made known to the public upon completion of the meeting.
Yuguda added that however, due to the lack of access to commercial bank accounts, the September 2020 guidelines had to be suspended until the operators have access to Nigerian bank accounts.
In February, the Central Bank of Nigeria issued a directive to the Deposit Money Banks to halt the facilitation of cryptocurrency trading and the closing of the accounts linked to the digital currency citing that it is not a legal tender.
However, the Securities and Exchange Commission Director-General said the commission has remained supportive of FinTechs and had invested so much in developing a framework to support their operations.
He also explained that the market was disrupted by the Apex Bank prohibition on access to Nigerian bank accounts by the crypto exchanges.
Yuguda said “the truth of the matter is that while the SEC had issued guidelines in September 2020 aimed at regulating this market, for now for all intents and purposes, because these exchanges do not have access to commercial bank accounts in Nigeria the market, for now, does not exist.”
According to him, the commission recognizes the impact of FinTechs on capital market activities and has assured the public that SEC would remain accommodative of this development.
He has also encouraged fintech firms to approach the commission for due registration and desist from operating illegally.
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