Nigeria: crypto regulation requested to stop bad actors and more



The co-founder of A&D Forensics, Adedeji Owonibi, stated that there is a need for crypto regulation in Nigeria to stop bad actors and financial crimes. 

Nigeria: crypto regulation necessary to stop financial crimes

According to reports, it seems that a request for crypto regulation has been made in Nigeria, in order to stop financial crimes such as money laundering. 

This is Adedeji Owonibi, co-founder of A&D Forensics, who accuses the lack of crypto regulation in the African country is allowing all forms of practices to go unchecked.

In this regard, Owonibi spoke during a training course organized by Blockchain & Digital Forensic for cryptocurrency compliance specialists:

“Nigeria should fully regulate crypto-assets within the country and establish laws for this purpose, because without law, there is no crime.”

Basically, recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revoked the ban on crypto transactions, allowing banks to manage accounts for Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASP).

At the same time, however, Owonibi emphasizes that there is no control and that banks can be used as a means to launder money and perpetrate other criminal activities. 

Here, in fact, is how Owonibi’s speech continues:

“Financial institutions, such as banks, need to ensure that the VASPs for which they open accounts are compliant exchanges and not gateways for people trying to launder money, sell drugs, or finance terrorism worldwide. If a platform allows this to happen, the Central Bank says it is guilty as an accomplice. Therefore, these financial institutions must try to ensure that all the money passing through their exchange is not used for criminal activities, and one way to do this is to hire the services of a compliance officer who will use the necessary tools to report them immediately.”

Nigeria: Owonibi believes the government needs to do more on crypto regulation

Owonibi then emphasized that the Nigerian government needs to do more in terms of crypto regulation.

Being an expert in training, Owonibi also refers to training all security officials in the country to combat financial crimes.

In this regard, the co-founder of A&D Forensics claims to have hosted law enforcement crypto agents in his training courses, including police officers and members of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). 

Not only that, Owonibi has also declared to collaborate with the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit. 

Despite this involvement, Owonibi emphasizes that it must be the government of the country that must do something more to create and implement clear regulation on cryptocurrencies. 

CBN guidelines for banks opening crypto accounts

Staying on the topic of crypto regulation in Nigeria, last month news leaked that the CBN has published guidelines for banks opening crypto accounts.

Actually, the circular with the new guidelines on the crypto topic had been sent on December 22, 2023, but the Central Bank of Nigeria made it public only at the beginning of 2024. 

This move is in line with the recommendations of the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) of the G7, which calls for the regulation of VASPs. 

Among the various news, the ban on banks holding or trading cryptocurrencies on their own behalf remains in force. In this sense, the guidelines only refer to the accounts of their customers. 

Not only can these customers carry out crypto-related transactions, but they cannot withdraw cash. Additionally, VASPs will have to provide information about the nature of their relationship with banks. 

In this way, the CBN provides minimum standards and requirements in order to monitor the activity of VASPs.