The chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Markets and Institutions, Babangida Ibrahim, announced that the body would soon enact a bill legalizing Bitcoin and digital currencies in Nigeria.
As per a local Nigerian news report, upon the enactment of the Investments and Securities Act, 2007 (Amendment) Bill, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would be able to recognize bitcoin and other digital assets as capital for investment.
Ibrahim stated “Like I said earlier during the second reading, we need an efficient and vibrant capital market in Nigeria. For us to do that, we have to be up to date global practices. In recent time, there are a lot of changes within the capital market, especially with the introduction of digital currencies, commodity exchanges and so many other things that are essential, that need to be captured in the new Act.”
The revelation comes nearly 2 years after Nigeria outlawed crypto trading when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) ordered local crypto exchanges and service providers to halt operations and ordered banks to shut the accounts of anyone found trading crypto.
The draft legislation will also outline the regulatory functions of the CBN and the SEC in relation to digital currency, and Ibrahim has already submitted reports on bills aimed at reforming the capital market.
“It is not about lifting of the ban, we are looking at the legality: what is legal and what is within the framework of our operations in Nigeria. The CBN is regulating financial markets and the Securities Exchange Commission regulates the capital market,” Ibrahim added.
The eNaira, the digital currency issued by Nigeria’s central bank, has received only little interest from Nigerians and only has a 0.5% adoption rate as of October 2022.