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Nigerian Minister Rebukes CBN Crypto Ban Calls for Regulation

In what looks like opposition to the stance of the Central Bank of Nigeria on cryptocurrencies, a sitting federal minister of the Nigerian government has called for a regulation of the crypto industry, instead of an outright ban or clampdown.

Clem Agba, the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning of Nigeria told the CBN that clamping down on crypto is not the way to go but that a forward-thinking regulation would be more beneficial for the West African nation.

The minister made the comments in an interview with Bloomberg, where he also questioned the claim that the CBN has the authority to regulate cryptocurrencies. Agba argued that there is no law giving any regulatory body such a mandate. The minister explained that:

“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.”

Minister Agba Calls for Teamwork Towards Developing Nigeria’s Crypto Space

Before the CBN’s crypto directive on February 5 this year, the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission and the CBN contested the right to control the crypto space in Nigeria. In a News report last year, the Nigerian SEC labeled cryptocurrencies as securities in its crypto guidelines document.

However, following the CBN’s directive to commercial banks to halt services to crypto entities to restrict them from accessing the financial system, the SEC suspended its guidelines. To date, the CBN appears to have taken on the mandate to oversee the nation’s crypto industry.

Commenting on the state of the crypto regulatory space in the country, the minister noted that:

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

Meanwhile, despite the CBN’s aggressive stance against cryptocurrencies, the industry has only continued to grow as Nigerians ramp up demand for digital assets. In October, Learn2Trade reported a Finder survey showing that Nigeria boasted the highest crypto ownership numbers globally. With this, one wonders why the authorities are fighting assiduously to stifle the cryptocurrency industry.

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