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Nigerian Finance Minister Urges SEC Board to Tackle Crypto Regulation Challenges

Ruholamin Haqshanas
Last updated: | 2 min read
Nigerian Finance Minister Urges SEC Board to Tackle Crypto Regulation Challenges

Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy has called upon the newly inaugurated board of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to address the complexities of regulating cryptocurrencies.

In a statement released during the board’s inauguration in Abuja, Wale Edun emphasized the need for stringent oversight to maintain market integrity in the capital market.

“The SEC board should be willing to accept the challenge of regulating these new areas, particularly crypto, as they are fast-moving complex areas,” he said.

Edun Highlites Crypto Registration Requirements

Edun expressed concerns that companies could exploit minimal registration requirements to falsely claim they were licensed.

He also warned against regulatory arbitrage, whereby companies with sophisticated transactions opt for the lowest level of registration to create the impression of being licensed and regulated.

“Ensure top-notch corporate governance practices, quickly identify and disclose conflicts, and adhere to global best practices. Do not become stumbling blocks for those awaiting processes and approvals.”

The finance minister highlighted the rapid developments in areas such as artificial intelligence, digital currency, and overall digital transitions, emphasizing the importance of the SEC being knowledgeable and proactive in these evolving fields.

According to Edun, the financial sector is undergoing rapid transformation, with innovations in fintech, AI, and crypto.

To provide necessary approvals and guidance, the SEC must stay informed and adaptable.

In response to the minister’s remarks, the Chairman of the SEC board, Mairiga Katuka, assured Edun that the board would utilize its collective expertise, innovation, and passion to drive growth.

“The nation’s future economic outlook appears positive, driven by reforms put in place by the current administration including robust inflation management, social protection, macroeconomic stability initiatives and improved private sector development,” Katuka said.

Binance Legal Drama Could Damage Nigeria’s Reputation

Last month, the Blockchain Industry Coordinating Committee of Nigeria (BICCoN) expressed concerns over the ongoing legal disputes between cryptocurrency exchange Binance and the Nigerian government.

BICCoN, which represents the Nigerian blockchain industry, urged a balanced approach to resolving these issues, noting the potential implications for the country’s blockchain ecosystem and international reputation.

The ongoing legal battles and detention of Binance executives have created an atmosphere of uncertainty and risk, potentially deterring potential investors and partners, according to BICCoN President Lucky Uwakwe.

Just recently, US lawmakers French Hill and Chrissy Houlahan made a visit to Kuje Prison in Nigeria, where detained Binance executive Tigran Gambaryan is being held.

Hill described Gambaryan’s wrongful detention in what he called a “horrible prison,” bringing attention to the health concerns Gambaryan is facing while in custody.

On June 14, there was a court ruling that cleared Gambaryan and Anjarwalla of tax evasion charges.

However, despite being cleared of tax evasion charges, the Binance executive still has a separate money laundering case to deal with.

Previously, Binance CEO Richard Teng accused a Nigerian government official of pressuring crypto representatives to accept a secret agreement to settle Nigeria’s claims against the exchange.