Despite many restrictions, govt enthusiastic about crypto – Min. of Budget and Natn’l planning, Clems Agba at the Technext coinference


The Blockchain industry has repeatedly proven its superiority to conventional methods of fulfilling commercial tasks and is, in the near future, expected to be the largest disruptor in finance and governance the world has ever seen. 

Institutions of the world have expressed optimism towards the potential of this industry, and the Nigerian government shares a similar vision and enthusiasm despite the many restrictions imposed in recent time.

The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, made this assertion in his keynote address at the ongoing 2021 Technext Coinference, held at the Pistis Conference Center in Lekki, Lagos.

In the keynote address on “Innovation, Regulation, and Aftermaths”, the minister acknowledges that blockchain opens up numerous opportunities across industries and is affecting not just the way money is perceived, but assets in general.

According to the Minister, the blockchain technology gives room for assets to be authenticated without the need for third-party verification. a practice that will benefit not only citizens but also all levels of government

The extravagant costs of setting up specific MDA’s and committees for resolving asset-related disputes can be largely reduced and cases can be speedily resolved without committing tremendous government resources. 

The burgeoning developments in the blockchain industry can also hopefully serve as a solution in the near future to the problems of tracking asset ownership and provide the utmost confidence in the authenticity of a buyer. 

Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba

In his speech, the minister states that the government, in collaboration with its citizens, has observed and mutually believes in these intrinsic benefits. Therefore, all stakeholders must view each player as a teammate to forge a healthy path towards cryptospace in Nigeria.

In the government’s drive towards the potential of blockchain, it created and launched Africa’s first Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) however, also raising the question of why the restrictions despite the observable opportunities. 

According to the Minister, the answer lies in the regulatory conversation currently taking place in Nigeria and worldwide. 

The minister remarked that the term “regulation” doesn’t always seem like a government effort to stifle the industry, but rather to help create a framework that makes the systems function adequately. 

Creating a regulatory process helps to adequately observe the intricacies of the industry, one that thoroughly examines the industry and the requirements it needs to grow. These activities help curb the malicious activities of unscrupulous crypto-based organizations towards unsuspecting citizens.

The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning and the CBN, a fully autonomous body helping to regulate and oversee the blockchain industry, Nevertheless, our laws of today cannot explicitly stipulate who holds the power to regulate cryptocurrencies, and there is a need for an additional body to play this role.

The minister assures us that the government’s intention to create a positive blockchain industry in the country lingers and that Nigeria’s SEC is currently in discussions with CBN to enable better understanding and regulation of the crypto space.

The minister states that these discussions of regulations are necessary as we all know the good crytocurrencies have produced so far, but there are also hundreds of thousands of individuals who have made losses that will be felt by future generations through scams in the crypto space.

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