CBN Governor Speaks on Regulating Cryptocurrency in Nigeria As FG Searches for Binance Executive

CBN Governor Speaks on Regulating Cryptocurrency in Nigeria As FG Searches for Binance Executive

  • The Central Bank of Nigeria has clarified its role in regulating cryptocurrency activities in Nigeria
  • The apex bank governor, Cardoso, clarified that the regulation of cryptocurrency platforms is not within its purview
  • CBN clarification comes amid recent events involving the detention of Binance executives and the subsequent escape

Olayemi Cardoso, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has revealed that it is not within the bank's power to regulate.

Speaking after the Monetary Policy Committee's (MPC) meeting on Tuesday, March 27, 2024, Cardoso said that the apex bank can not prosecute players in the cryptocurrency sector.

CBN speaks on crytocurrency
CBN says regulating cryptocurrencies falls outside CBN duties Photo credit: Dan Kitwood
Source: Getty Images

According to Cardoso, regulating cryptocurrency platforms is the duty of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in Nigeria, as well as the national adviser's office, and not that of the CBN.

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He said:

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"Exactly a month ago, we indeed engaged in collaboration with law enforcement agencies such as the EFCC, the SEC, and other regulatory bodies. The outcome of this collaboration, to be frank, is still ongoing work, but it has been largely positive," he remarked.
"We have actively exchanged information with them. However, it's important to note that regulating cryptocurrency falls outside our jurisdiction. This responsibility solely belongs to the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC). It's not within our purview; it's distinctly theirs."

FG arrest Binance executives

Earlier, reported that FG arrested Binance executives for two Binance top executives — Nadeem Anjarwalla, a 37-year-old British-Kenyan and Binance's regional manager for Africa, and Tigran Gambaryan, a 39-year-old US citizen and Binance's head of financial crime compliance — were detained by the Nigerian authorities for weeks.

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On March 25, the National Security Adviser's office (ONSA) confirmed Nadeem Anjarwalla had escaped its custody.

Reacting to the development, Cardoso said:

“Of course, the issue of people being held in custody, again strictly speaking is the Office of the National Security Adviser.
“That is not within the purview of the central bank. Unfortunately, there is nothing to report to you or tell you. We just want to clarify that is really the relationship the central bank has on this matter.”.

Binance, others face billions of dollars in fines reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) might slam substantial fines running into billions of dollars on Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange and others operating in Nigeria.

SEC and other security operatives are investigating allegations of currency manipulations against the Nigerian currency by Binance and other crypto platforms.

The development allegedly contributed to the current foreign exchange crisis in Nigeria.


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