Could cryptocurrency regulation be the key to combating financial crimes in Nigeria?
Nigeria is being urged to regulate cryptocurrency to curb financial crimes like money laundering.
Adedeji Owonibi, Co-founder of A&D Forensics, stressed the importance of regulation at a training for cryptocurrency compliance specialists.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently permitted banks to operate accounts for Virtual Assets Service Providers (VASP) under specific guidelines.
Compliance specialists are essential for ensuring that funds passing through exchanges are not used for criminal activities.
There’s a call for Nigerian law enforcement agents to receive training as compliance specialists to better combat financial crimes.
In Nigeria, the pressing issue of financial crimes, particularly money laundering, has brought to light the need for cryptocurrency regulation. At a recent training event for cryptocurrency compliance specialists, Adedeji Owonibi from A&D Forensics underscored the absence of regulations in Nigeria’s crypto space as a gateway for unmonitored financial practices. He asserts that without explicit laws, identifying and prosecuting offenses within the cryptocurrency sphere remains an uphill battle.
The training, conducted by a Blockchain and Digital Forensic firm, comes in the wake of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s decision to reverse its ban on crypto transactions. This policy shift now allows banks to operate accounts for Virtual Assets Service Providers, provided they adhere strictly to compliance laws. These laws serve as a safeguard, ensuring that financial institutions do not become conduits for laundering money or funding illicit activities.
Owonibi highlighted the critical role of compliance specialists in this new framework. These individuals are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that exchanges and financial transactions are above board, free from the taint of criminal activity. The training facilitated by A&D Forensics is a strategic move to equip banks with the necessary tools and knowledge to adhere to stringent compliance standards.
Furthermore, Owonibi noted the Nigerian government’s ongoing efforts to train law enforcement agents as compliance specialists. However, he calls for a more extensive training program to ensure that all security officials are well-prepared to tackle financial crimes effectively.
Despite the lift of the CBN bank ban on cryptocurrency service providers, local crypto analysts suggest that the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) should revisit the guidelines for virtual asset service providers. These analysts believe that refining these guidelines could enable local crypto exchanges to secure licenses and operate legitimately within the country.
As Nigeria navigates through the
What’s your take on this? Let’s know about your thoughts in the comments below!