Proposed cryptocurrency law to define CBN’s roles

The campaign to move for cryptocurrency regulation has received immense attention, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Markets and Institutions, Babangida Ibrahim, has disclosed the preparedness of the chamber to pass a law that’ll give room to digital currencies in Nigeria.

The Investment and Securities Act, 2007 Amendment Bill, when passed and signed into law, will allow the Securities and Exchange Commission to recognize cryptocurrency and other digital funds as capital for investment.

The said law will likewise define the regulatory roles of the Central Bank of Nigeria and SEC regarding digital currency.

Ibrahim had last Wednesday laid a report on bills looking to make reforms in the capital market.

One of the legislations was titled “A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers Act, Cap. C9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Provide for Establishment of Chartered Institute of Securities and Investments; and for related matters.

The other Bill was titled, A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Investments and Securities Act, 2007 and Enact the Investments and Securities and Exchange Commission as the apex regulatory authority for the Nigerian Capital Market as well as Regulation of the market to ensure Capital Formation, the protection of Investors, Maintain Fair, reduction Efficient and transparent Market and reduction of systematic risk.

On the hills of the EndSARS protest, the CBN had ordered banks and other financial institutions to identify persons and entities operating cryptocurrency exchanges and close all such accounts.

The apex bank stressed that dealing with crypto assets and facilitating payments through them is illegal in the country.

Ibrahim in an interview on bills pointed out that Nigeria must flow with global economic innovations.

“As I said earlier during the second reading, we need an efficient and vibrant capital market in Nigeria. For us to do that, we have to be up to date on global practices.

In recent times, there is a lot of change within, the capital market especially with the introduction of digital currencies, commodity exchanges and so many other essential things, that need to be captured in the new Act. As I said, it’s better to talk about this after consideration is given to the reports.

“When it comes to digital currencies they have different names and it depends on the jurisdiction. These currencies, don’t have boundaries. You can stay here in Nigeria and invest in the United States, Canada, or anywhere.

“They are digital, that’s why if you remember when cryptocurrency was initially banned in Nigeria, the CBN discovered that most of these investors don’t even use local accounts, there’s no way the CBN can check their activities.

“All these are some of the issues that we have considered and we have to regulate them, it’s not that they are illegal, but we don’t have regulation for them. So, these are some of the reasons why we need to review the Act and put some regulations for the majority of the activities, commodity exchanges, digital currencies, etc.

“It’s not about the lifting of the ban, we are looking at the legality, what is legal and what is within the framework of our operations in Nigeria. The CBN is regulating financial markets and the Securities Exchange Commission regulates the Capital market.

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