A prominent Nigerian politician has called on the government to create a legal framework for cryptocurrencies. Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker of the House of Representatives, urged the government to recognize and regulate the crypto industry which was becoming widespread in the West African country.
Gbajabiamila spoke during a visit by the board of the Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC). A reported by Nigerian outlet Daily Post, the prominent politician believes that Nigeria risks falling behind other countries if it doesn’t move to regulate the crypto industry soon. He stated:
On the issue of cryptocurrency, I think block-chain technology is novel and coming up strong. We don’t want to be left behind. Not too long ago, a group of world leaders, G20 met in Osaka, Japan and one of the issues they discussed was block-chain technology and cryptocurrency. I think the world is taking the issue of cryptocurrency and block-chain technology seriously. We don’t want to be left behind, and we have to take it seriously.
Gbajabiamila assured the NDIC that the House of Representatives was open to working with it and the Central Bank of Nigeria to formulate policies for the crypto industry.
The speaker also recognized the vigor with which the people of Nigeria have taken to adopting cryptocurrencies stating, “I’m aware that we trade on different platforms about $12 million on yearly basis in this country, and a lot of these things, as you said, are in the air but not captured. It is time we begin to look seriously at this advancement in technology.”
The Nigerian Parliament is set to form a House Committee on Banking and Currency. This committee will work with all the stakeholders in the finance sector, including the crypto industry, the Speaker stated.
Nigeria has emerged as one of Africa’s technology hotspots, with its high population providing an adequate internal market for many startups. Naturally, the market has taken to cryptos, with platforms such as Luno and Paxful being widespread in the country. As Paxful revealed to CoinGeek recently, Nigeria was one of its largest markets globally.
In developing a regulatory framework for the crypto industry, Nigeria will become the first African country to have a clear set of policies for the industry. While some other countries such as South Africa, Ghana, Egypt and Kenya have begun looking into how best to regulate the industry, none of them has implemented any concrete laws.
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