Nigeria’s Budget Minister is against clampdown of crypto, advocates regulation

Despite the Central Bank of Nigeria’s aggressive stand against crypto, a minister in Nigeria is calling for regulation that promotes opportunities from the wider use of the digital technology rather than a clamp down on it.

Clem Agba, the minister of state for Budget and National Planning stated that ambiguity in regulating cryptocurrencies risks denying the government and citizens the opportunity to utilize the benefits of the technology, according to Bloomberg.

In February of this year the Central Bank of Nigeria ordered commercial banks to halt transacting in cryptocurrencies, citing a threat to the financial system it oversees. The apex bank has reiterated that the Nigerian financial system has no space for crypto. Because of the varied classifications of cryptocurrencies as securities or currencies, Agba noted that determining who governs them is an issue.

“Since our existing laws cannot explicitly stipulate who holds the power to regulate cryptocurrencies, there may be a need for an additional body to play that role.” – he said.

According to Agba, better regulation should help the government encourage and nurture blockchain technology for broader application rather than stifle operators.

“It is crucial for all stakeholders to view each player as a key teammate toward a healthy crypto space in Nigeria,” he said.

What you should know

  • According to the International Monetary Fund, crypto assets offer immediate and substantial hazards to several emerging market and developing economy currencies, such as the naira (Nigeria’s local currency).
  • Nigerians have the largest share of such assets per capita in the world, according to a Statista poll. Data retrieved from Usefultulips (a Bitcoin analytic data provider) shows that the usage of Bitcoin’s peer to peer trading in Nigeria surged by 27% since the CBN directive took effect.
  • Former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Kingsley Moghalu, said that the CBN ruling on the prohibition of crypto operations does not criminalize the use and trade of cryptocurrencies in Nigeria. He also added that banning cryptos might have not been the wisest decision by the CBN.
  • Nigeria recently joined a growing list of emerging nations in creating its own digital currency to assist lower transaction costs and increase participation in the official financial system in October.


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