The party of the Nigerian presidential hopeful Asiwaju Bola Tinubu has promised to set up an advisory committee to review regulations that govern blockchain and virtual asset services if it wins in the upcoming elections. The All Progressives Congress also said it “will work with the Central Bank and the financial sector to carefully review and better optimise the exchange rate regime.”
A ‘Business-Friendly Regulatory Framework’
In its recently unveiled manifesto, Nigerian presidential aspirant Asiwaju Bola Tinubu’s party — the All Progressives Congress (APC) — said it plans to “establish an advisory committee to review the existing regulatory environment governing blockchain technology and virtual asset services.” The APC, which is also the party of current Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, added that where necessary the committee will propose changes that bring about “a more efficient and business-friendly regulatory framework.”
According to the APC’s 80-page manifesto, the Tinubu government in fact wants to reform Nigeria’s policy towards information technology.
“We will reform government policy to encourage the prudent use of blockchain technology in finance and banking, identity management, revenue collection and the use of crypto assets,” an excerpt from the APC manifesto states.
During the outgoing President Buhari’s tenure, the Nigerian government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) have pursued policies that discourage the use of crypto assets. In addition, the CBN’s February 5, 2021, directive against crypto assets as well as the subsequent crackdown against entities defying the order are thought to have forced some startups to halt operations in Nigeria.
However, according to the APC manifesto, the Tinubu government will prioritize putting in place a regulatory framework that is business-friendly. In addition, the manifesto states that an APC government will “also encourage the CBN to expand the use of our digital currency, the e-naira.”
Exchange Rate ‘Most Evocative Monetary Issue’
Meanwhile, concerning the local currency’s exchange rate, the APC acknowledges that this may be the “most evocative monetary issue of the day.” The party argues, however, that since it influences the costs of imports, the competitiveness of exports, and net capital flows, management “cannot be ignored nor left to the vagaries of an unrestrained market.”
As previously reported by Bitcoin.com News, the naira’s plunge versus the U.S. dollar — albeit on the parallel market — has partly contributed to the rise of Nigeria’s inflation rate. Nigeria’s inability to generate enough foreign exchange to meet its import bill is often cited as the main cause of the naira’s continuing depreciation. Still, despite the currency falling against the greenback to just under N750;$1, the CBN still keeps the naira officially pegged at just under N450:$1.
However, in its manifesto, the APC suggested it would take a different approach towards managing the exchange.
“To ensure that exchange rate policy harmonises with our goals of optimal growth and job creation driven by industrial, agricultural and infrastructural expansion, we will work with the Central Bank and the financial sector to carefully review and better optimise the exchange rate regime,” the APC said.
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Author: Terence Zimwara
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