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Senator advocates for crypto regulation to transform Nigeria’s economy



The Senate Committee pushes for cryptocurrency regulation, aiming to transform Nigeria's economy by boosting transparency, protecting investors, and increasing liquidity.

The Senate Committee on Capital Markets has called for crypto regulation in Nigeria. Speaking to the media on Monday as reported by local media, the Chairman of the Committee Senator Osita Izunaso, said there is a need for regulation to increase accountability and investor protection in the burgeoning cryptocurrency industry.

Senator Izunaso addressed journalists in Abuja following the committee’s screening of Dr. Emomotimi Agama, the newly appointed director-general of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and three executive commissioners.

He said that “the issue of cryptocurrency must be regulated because Nigerians are trading in crypto”, He went further by saying “Since Nigerians are trading in crypto, why are we not regulating it. Where is the money going if we don’t regulate activities in the crypto market?”.

“You can’t stop them from trading in the crypto market. So because we can’t stop them, you have to regulate it,” Senator Izunaso added. 

The senator’s stance is driven by a pragmatic recognition of the crypto market’s growth and its potential impact on the economy. He noted the President’s plan to build a 1 trillion naira economy and believes this can be done through the stock exchange and the capital market.

“And I believe that we are going to see more of government activities in stock exchange, in capital market, in commodities exchange, in crypto. This is because these are the areas that will further inject money into the system.”

The senator acknowledged the problem of liquidity in the country. Be believes the lack of liquidity in the market is what’s making the Naira lose its value. This can be remedied if the capital market is developed as well as the crypto market according to the Committee’s chairman.

“Because the problem we have is the problem of liquidity. We don’t have enough money, we don’t have enough liquidity in the system. That is what is crushing the naira and making the naira so little when it’s competing with other currencies. But if we develop our capital market, develop our crypto market, we will bring more liquidity into the system. That will help to cushion all the problems we have.”

In case you missed it: Nigeria’s Security and Exchange Commission releases guidelines on crypto asset regulations as part of its effort to provide clarity to the fast-growing crypto market.

Also commenting was Emomotimi Agama, the newly appointed SEC director-general, who echoed Senator Izunaso’s vision for the capital market. The SEC DG wants to boost wealth creation, attract investments, and create jobs for Nigerians.

“We are bringing on board innovation, development. We are going to change the narrative of the Nigerian capital market. We are going to turn it around. That is the essence of our appointment by President Bola Tinubu. With this team, we assure Nigerians that we’re going to do the best that the President has the desire to do.”

He went further saying: that, the desire is to move the market forward and to help achieve the president’s plan of building an N1 trillion economy in the quickest way possible.

“Yes, the President is going to be a year in office in a few days. That is remarkable because as an anniversary giver, the President has given us to Nigerians to do the best to change the market,”

The committee’s call for cryptocurrency regulation is not without its challenges. Critics argue that such regulation could stifle innovation and impose burdensome compliance costs on startups. 

However, the Senator and SEC DG counter these concerns by advocating for a balanced regulatory framework that promotes transparency protects investors, and encourages sustainable growth.  “Our desire is to move this market forward,” Agama stated.

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