Just like many nations around the world, the central government of Nigeria and the country’s premier bank have not enforced any regulation for the new industry.
It is this disposition that is driving blockchain startups away from the country according to the Electronic Payment Practitioners Association of Nigeria (E-PPAN) which also called on the relevant authorities to take action soon.
Speaking at the just concluded E-ppan conference, Ade Atobatele, founder of Gboza Gboza Technology told national news agency, Guardian, that cryptocurrencies and blockchain would only thrive in a regulated environment.
“Investments in blockchain-based financial services such as cryptocurrency are today going to Rwanda and Malta, which have provided regulatory frameworks that guide operators of the technology,” he said in publication.
The founder also revealed that even though he has a license from Nigeria’s central bank, the regulatory unclarity around blockchain has forced them to operate in neighboring African nation Rwanda.
Another E-PPAN member Michael Kiberu recommended that the government borrows a leaf from crypto-friendly countries like Uganda, Kenya and Switzerland to come up with a regulatory framework to govern the new industry.
Central Bank of Nigeria Will Address Fintech Needs
In what looked like an answer to the request made by E-ppan members, an official from the CBN, Musa Jimoh, promised that the issues would be cleared up soon, even though he provided no timeline.
Musa Jimoh told the publication that they were restructuring the licensing regime to allow banks and modern fintech firms to co-exist.
“Fintechs are coming up with products and technology that is unmatched with banks; this also needs to be addressed,” Jimoh said.
The new stance is favorable when compared to comments made by CBN Governor, Ifeanyi Emefiele, who said in a Vanguard publication in January, that cryptocurrencies “are a gamble.”
The Nigerian crypto community will hope that the regulatory concerns are addressed soon so that the invention will thrive.