SEC vows to crackdown on unregistered digital asset operators

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said it would not hesitate to sanction and prosecute unregistered digital asset operators.

The Director General of the SEC, Lamido Yuguda, who stated this at the post Capital Market Committee meeting Friday in Abuja, stated that the idea is to ensure the protection of investors.

The Director General asserted that part of the safeguards against illegal activities of the unregistered operators in the digital market; the Commission released a new set of guidelines to regulate the digital space.

He said, “So, all the necessary safeguards have been added to the new rules and at the moment because of the activities of certain platforms that have not been registered but were operating in Nigeria illegally, we have had to take a second look at these rules so that we can make them much better for regulation of digital assets space.

“The SEC will take very firm action in working in concert with other agencies of government to make sure that these operators that are not licensed are actually prosecuted and shut down. And you can see that in recent times, we have been sensitive to the operation of unlicensed operators.”

Yuguda also announced that the Collective Investments Scheme funds as at the first quarter of 2024 was N2.14 trillion in CIS funds while the sum N2.36 trillion is in the discretionary and non-discretionary funds in custody.

Yuguda encouraged all bonafide operators to come forward to the commission to register as it would grant them access to operate in the market properly.  

The SEC helmsman further said that the Commission is in talks with the CBN and other stakeholders to ensure that the banking recapitalization exercise is carried out seamlessly.

“So, we have also been working with some market participants to ensure that this process, is done in a very smooth manner, making sure that the SEC and the market and the banks avoid all the mistakes we had in past exercise, highlight the benefit of the exercises and also make sure that investors that would invest in these offers are well protected,” he said.       

On what is doing concerning the cryptocurrency market, the SEC boss stressed that the Commission would do everything within its power to protect those that decide to “invest in digital assets products. They are not really investing with operators who are actually taking advantage of the investing in those platforms.”