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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Nigeria has reported that discussions with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) about cryptocurrency legislation are pending. The securities regulator also stated that, as a result of a CBN directive released on February 7, 2021, the crypto guidelines issued in September 2020 are still in effect.
Crypto Guidelines Set Aside
However, the regulator guarantees that stakeholders will be aware of the results of its engagements with the CBN. Meanwhile, at a Q1 Capital Market Committee (CMC) simulated meeting, SEC Director-General Lamido Yuguda attempted to defend the regulator’s decision to suspend its own guidance. He said:
“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.”
He goes on to say that this was the only sensible decision to take because no one would work “in the Nigerian capital market unless they have access to a Nigerian bank account.”
Support For All Fintechs
Nonetheless, Yuguda argues that the SEC is “very supportive of fintechs” because the regulator “invested so much in developing a framework for supporting fintechs in various areas.” He goes on to say:
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.
According to Bitcoin.com News, the CBN has released a guideline prohibiting banks from promoting trades involving crypto organisations. The CBN guideline seemed to refute a previous SEC circular that seemed to support cryptocurrencies. As a result of the resulting chaos, the SEC was forced to drop its crypto rules and show support for the CBN’s decision.
In his most recent remarks, Yuguda tries to reassure the crypto sector by saying that the regulator would “continue to engage players and support them to operate lawfully.” Finally, the SEC states that it wishes to “insure the delivery of safe products and services without stifling innovation.”