The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has revealed that it is working to better understand and control the cryptocurrency market in Nigeria in partnership with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
This comes after the CBN had banned all financial institutions and deposit money banks from permitting account holders to engage in any crypto related transaction.
Lamido Yuguda Director-General of SEC made the disclosure at the 2021 post-Capital market Committee virtual news conference.
Yuguda stated that the commission was in discussion with the CBN for better crypto-asset market understanding and regulation, adding that the capital market regulator had suspended the implementation of crypto assets guidelines due to lack of access to Nigerian bank accounts.
In his statement, Yuguda said, “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.
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 are able to 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,” he said.
He however noted that the SEC had always supported Fintechs and had in fact invested so much in developing a framework to support their operations.
He said, “Let me say that the SEC remains very supportive of Fintechs. We have invested so much in developing a framework for supporting Fintechs in the various areas and Fintechs are acting in areas of crowdfunding, investment advice and cryptocurrencies and the like.”
He acknowledged the fact that the fintech space had been disrupted by the ban on crypto exchange’s access to Nigerian bank accounts by the CBN.
“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.
And 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.’’
You would recall that the CBN had about two months ago directed all financial institutions and deposit money banks to enforce its directive to close all accounts related to cryptocurrency trading.