Nigerian President-elect Bola Tinubu has recently released a manifesto that, if enacted, would enable the use of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies in the nation's banking and finance sector.
The manifesto suggests reviewing existing Security Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations on digital assets to make them more business-friendly. The new regulation provides a framework for regulating digital assets like cryptocurrencies and other digital tokens in Nigeria.
The suggested regulations would require digital asset companies to register with the SEC and mandate that all digital asset offerings and investments comply with SEC regulations.
In the manifesto, Tinubu said: “We will reform the policy to encourage the prudent use of blockchain technology in banking and finance, identity management, revenue collection and use of crypto assets. We will establish an advisory committee to review SEC regulation on digital assets creating a more efficient and business-friendly regulatory framework.”
Some cryptocurrency enthusiasts have criticized existing regulations for lacking provisions to allow crypto users to make transactions with their local banks.
this existing SEC regulation on crypto in Nigeria is really not letting crypto users make transactions with banks.
— Son of Timothy (@ObiUcheUzoije) March 7, 2023
The published paper also aligns with the Central Bank of Nigeria's (CBN) eNaira — the country's central bank digital currency — and plans to expand the adoption of the coin, which has not lived up to expectations.
The government hopes the proposed reform to SEC regulations will help attract more investors in the digital and economic sectors and stimulate economic growth.
Tinubu said, “We will also encourage the CBN to expand the use of our digital currency, the eNaira.”
The manifesto's release coincides with Nigerians' increasing interest in crypto assets, as Google search data indicates a strong appetite for stablecoins.
Nigerians' interest in crypto is reflected in the CBN’s milder position toward stablecoins. The apex bank recently published a research report titled “Nigeria’s Payment System Vision 2025” exploring the creation of a new framework to introduce a stablecoin in Nigeria.