Nigerian minister urges SEC to tackle crypto regulation challenges


The Nigerian Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun, has called on the newly inaugurated Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) board to address the complexities of cryptocurrency regulation.

According to local media, Edun emphasized the need to ensure stringent oversight, especially in fast-moving and complex areas such as cryptocurrencies, to maintain market integrity in Nigeria’s capital market during the board’s inauguration in Abuja.

Minimal registration requirements

Edun warned that companies might exploit minimal registration requirements to falsely claim they are licensed, undermining market integrity. Highlighting the potential for regulatory arbitrage, he urged the SEC to implement top-notch corporate governance practices, swiftly identify and disclose conflicts and adhere to global best practices.

The minister also encouraged the newly inaugurated SEC board members to adopt innovative strategies to regulate the country’s capital market effectively. He stressed the importance of staying informed and proactive amid rapid developments in artificial intelligence, digital currency and overall digital transitions.

“Unlike basic industries with settled technologies, the financial sector is rapidly evolving with innovations in fintech, AI and crypto. To provide necessary approvals and guidance, the SEC must stay informed and adaptable.”

SEC pledges innovation and growth

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

Katuka expressed optimism about Nigeria’s future economic outlook, citing reforms by the current administration that are fostering economic growth.

Related: Nigerian SEC mandates local offices for crypto firms

The SEC chairman emphasized that the board would contribute to a more prosperous and resilient financial ecosystem with diligence, integrity and a shared sense of purpose.

On April 19, 2024, Nigerian President Bola Tinubu approved the appointment of seven persons to the SEC board. They included Katuka, Emomotimi Agama (director-general), Frana Chukwuogor (executive commissioner of legal and enforcement) and Bola Ajomale (executive commissioner of operations).

Following the appointments, the SEC amended its rules on digital asset issuance, offering platforms, exchange and custody, outlining its plans to update these critical regulations. The amendment process is designed to enhance the regulatory environment, making it more comprehensive and responsive to the complexities of digital asset markets.

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