NNPC report

Zenith Bank Records 5% Gross Earnings Growth At N696.5 bn

‌[Z

Zenith-Bank-Plc
Zenith-Bank-Plc

Zenith Bank Plc has announced an impressive result for the year ended December 31, 202.growing gross earnings  by 5 per cent  for the year ended December 31, 2020.

The bank’s gross esrnings for the period ended December 31, 2020 xwhich stood at N696.5 billion was up from N662.3 billion reported in the previous year. A feat which  was achieved in spite of the challenging macroeconomic environment exacerbated by the COVID- 19 pandemic.

According to the bank’s audited financial results for the 2020 financial year presented to the Nigeria Stock Exchange, NSE,  Tuesday, the Group recorded 8 per cent growth in non-interest income from N232.1 billion in 2019 to N251.7 billion in 2020 and a 1 per cent increase in interest income from N415.6 billion in 2019 to N420.8 billion in 2020.

The Bank’s Profit before tax also most bed up by 5 per cent, from N243.3 billion to N255.9 billion in the current year. The increase arose from a combination of growth in the topline and a significant reduction in interest expense.  Interest expense reduced from N148.5 billion in 2019 to N121.1 billion in 2020, significantly increasing the net interest income from N267.0 billion in 2019 to N299.7 billion in 2020.

The Group’s increased retail activities translated to a corresponding increase in retail deposits and loans. Thus, retail deposits grew by N612.7 billion from N1.11 trillion to N1.72 trillion year-on-year (YoY), while savings balances significantly grew by 88 per cent YoY and closed at N1.16 trillion. This retail drive, coupled with the low-interest yield environment, helped reduce the cost of funding from 3.0 per cent to 2.1 per cent and also reduced interest expense.

However, the low-interest environment also affected the net interest margin, which declined from 8.2 per cent to 7.9 per cent in the current year due to the re-pricing of interest-bearing assets. Operating costs grew by 10 per cent YoY but are still tracking well below inflation which at the end of the year stood at 15.75 per cent.

Although returns on equity and assets also reduced from 23.8 per cent to 22.4 per cent and from 3.4 per cent to 3.1 per cent, respectively, the Group still delivered improved Earnings per Share (EPS), which grew 10 per cent from N6.65 to N7.34 in the current year.

The Group also increased corporate customer deposits, which alongside the growth in retail deposits, delivered total deposit growth of 25 per cent, to close at N5.34 trillion, driving growth in market share. Total assets also increased significantly by 34 per cent, from N6.35 trillion to N8.48 trillion.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated challenges, the Group managed to create new viable risk assets as gross loans grew by 19 per cent, from N2.46 trillion to N2.92 trillion. This was achieved while maintaining a stable and low overall NPL ratio of 4.29 per cent (2019: 4.3 per cent) across the entire portfolio and an increase in the cost of risk from 1.1 per cent to 1.5 per cent, reflecting the elevated risk environment in 2020.

The Group recorded impressive liquidity and capital adequacy ratios of 66.2 per cent and 23.0 per cent and remained above regulatory thresholds of 30 per cent and 15 per cent, respectively.

In a demonstration of its commitment to its shareholders, the bank has announced a proposed final dividend payout of N2.70 per share, bringing the total dividend to N3.00 per share.

As a testament to this superlative performance and in recognition of its track record of excellent performance, Zenith Bank was voted as Bank of the Year (Nigeria) in The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards 2020, Best Bank in Nigeria in the Global Finance World’s Best Banks Awards 2020 and Best Corporate Governance ‘Financial Services’ Africa 2020 by the Ethical Boardroom.

Also, the bank emerged as the Most Valuable Banking Brand in Nigeria, for the fourth consecutive year, in the Banker Magazine “Top 500 Banking Brands 2021” and Number One Bank in Nigeria by Tier-1 Capital in the “2020 Top 1000 World Banks” Ranking published by The Banker Magazine.

Similarly, the bank was recognised as Bank of the Decade (People’s Choice) at the ThisDay Awards 2020, Retail Bank of the year at the 2020 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BOFI) Awards, and Best Company in Promotion of Good Health and Well-Being as well as Best Company in Promotion of Gender Equality and Women Empowerment at the Sustainability, Enterprise and Responsibility (SERAS) Awards 2020.Charles

AFCFTA: Nigeria Is Not Ready For Take-Off

S

Emeka Enwelu

peakers at the just concluded Maritime Journalists Association of Nigeria, MAJAN have held that Nigeria is not fully prepared for the take-off of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, AFCFTA.

Managing Director/CEO of Mac-Manuel Global Logistics, who also doubles as the Vice President, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Mr Emeka Enwelu, posited that many maritime stakeholders were not fully ready to take advantage of the opportunities provided by AFCFTA because of the low awareness creation and publicity.
He said “I believe government is not ready because the level of enlightenment is very low.

“Government has not done much in educating those concerned about this concept. Look at an important sector like maritime, nobody has reached out to licensed customs agents and other Industry players.

“Government signed AfCFTA when our land borders were still closed. It shows that we are not prepared. We
just entered into an important trade agreement without adequate preparation.

“The only things we have are the population and a large market.”

Enwelu wondered why such a huge continental business deal should be shrouded in secrecy, noting that it “ought to have been on the lips of everybody like Covid-19 is”.

He expressed delight at the efforts of MAJAN to bring topical issues to the front burner,saying
“I’m really impressed by the level of reportage and enlightenment MAJAN is giving the Industry. It is quite beneficial for the growth of the sector.

He commended the association for what it is doing in the maritime industry especially with regard to Apapa traffic gridlock and its toll on businesses, Investigative Journalism, and AfCFTA.

On his part, Registrar, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF Academy, Fwdr Francis Omotosho, informed that “Regional trade agreements vary depending on the level of commitment and arrangement among the member countries. It comes with internal rules that member countries must follow.
“These include removal of trade barriers; free movement of goods and services across the region; Customs Union of member countries must reduce trade barriers to enhance seamless cargo clearance; free import and export of resources must be allowed; member countries have to adopt a set of economic policies and use of one currency; regional integration must be encouraged. Investors who want to put money in developing countries must be protected against political risk”.

He maintained that
“AfCFTA has economic benefits, which include increase in foreign direct investments (FDI)and reduction in trade tariff.

The agreement he insists helps to remove trade barriers, boosts economic growth, creates jobs and paves the way for market
expansion.

“AfCFTA is a flagship project of African Union Agenda 2063, a blueprint for attaining inclusive and sustainable growth.

On 20th December, 2019, in Abuja, President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the National Action Committee for Implementation of AfCFTA. The Federal Executive Council ratified Nigeria’s membership of AfCFTA on November 11, 2020 and it started in January 2021 as scheduled.

According to Omotosho, “The objectives are to create a single continental market for Made in African goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, paving the way for establishment of Continental Customs Union.

“When fully implemented, AfCFTA will eliminate tariffs on intra- businesses to trade within the continent and cater for growing African market.

AfCFTA is expected to lay the foundation for the establishment of a continental customs union.

“AfCFTA is to be the world’s largest free trade area since the formation of the World Trade Organization (WTO).
AfCFTA is to consolidate Africa into one trade area for entrepreneurs, businesses and consumers across the continent”.

In his remarks, the MAJAN President, Comrade Ray Ugochukwu assured that MAJAN would continue to engage relevant stakeholders with a view to enlighten the public through responsible reportage.

His words: “As journalists, our duty is to enlighten the masses through our reports. This is what MAJAN is doing as a group. Our maiden national Maritime Summit on ‘Apapa traffic gridlock’ is slated for next month, March 2021. We’re optimistic that our modest contribution towards addressing the nightmare Apapa gridlock has become, will yield good results”.

“The summit will provide a good platform for stakeholders, regulatory agencies and government departments involved, to proffer lasting solutions to the perennial gridlock at Apapa ports access roads.”

The MAJAN President, thanked the resource persons, who graced the occasion, including Dr Emeka Enebili, the Chief Host, among others. He said that MAJAN Roundtable is going to be a regular exercise going forward.

FMDQ : Valency Agro Nigeria Limited Quotes ₦5.12bn Series I CP     

FMDQ Exchange

In fostering the development of the Nigerian Debt Capital Markets (DCM), FMDQ Securities Exchange Limited (“FMDQ  has through its Board Listings and Markets Committee, approved the quotation of the Valency Agro Nigeria Limited ₦5.12 billion Series 1 Commercial Paper (CP) under its ₦20.00 billion CP Programme on its platform.  

This development is in line with the Exchange’s  continued desire to avail its credible and efficient platform as well as tailor its Listings and Quotations services to suit the needs of Issuers and Registration Members (sponsors of the issue on FMDQ Exchange) through innovative and uninterrupted service delivery.

The Valency Agro Nigeria Limited (“Valency Agro) CP debut issue comes at a time where the Nigerian economy is bedeviled with soaring food prices, amidst compounding challenges of insecurity. The agricultural sector and its attendant transformation agenda have never been more important in driving increased and sustainable production of agricultural products as well as the derived foreign earnings through exports. The proceeds from this issue of the CP will be applied by Valency Agro towards meeting the mid-term working capital requirements of the various agricultural produce under its portfolio such as cashew, sesame, cocoa and in value addition prior to export.

Executive Director, Valency Agro Nigeria Limited, Mr. Sumit Jain, comenting on the issuance said “We are thankful to our investors towards showing their faith in our agenda to grow the agriculture focused business with a clear aim to maximise value addition and create employment opportunities in Nigeria. We would also like to commend the efforts made by FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited’s team to build the reach and FMDQ for their unconditional support for the industry”.

According to Mr. Oluseun Olatidoye, Head, Capital Markets, FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited, “FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited is delighted with the successful debut of the ₦5.12 Billion Series 1 CP issued by Valency Agro Nigeria Limited. This reiterates our effort to enable underserved sectors access the debt markets, optimise their capital structure and further deepen the domestic capital markets. We are proud of the instrumental role FBNQuest Merchant Bank played in this transaction and appreciate the trust the management of Valency Agro placed in us to assist them. Our clients remain our priority, and we strongly believe their success is our success”.

The timely admission of this CP, and in general, securities on FMDQ Exchange, is a testament to the efficient processes and integrated systems through which FMDQ Holdings PLC (FMDQ Group or FMDQ), through its wholly owned subsidiaries – FMDQ Exchange, FMDQ Clear Limited, FMDQ Depository Limited and FMDQ Private Markets Limited – has continued to create unique value for its diverse stakeholders during this peculiar time and beyond.

In keeping with its commitment to the development of the market, FMDQ Exchange shall sustain its efforts in supporting issuers with tailored financing options to enable them achieve their strategic objectives, deepen and effectively position the Nigerian DCM for growth, in support of the realisation of a globally competitive and vibrant economy. With a vision to become “the leading African builder of ecosystems of financial infrastructure and services for markets”, and a mission to “collaborate to empower markets for economic progress towards delivering prosperity”, FMDQ Group is unwavering in its pursuit of product and market innovation and as well as stakeholder engagement, towards making the Nigerian financial markets Globally competitive, Operationally excellent, Liquid and Diverse, in line with its GOLD Agenda.

FMDQ Group is Africa’s first vertically integrated financial market infrastructure (FMI) group providing a one-stop platform for the seamless and cost-efficient execution, risk management, clearing, settlement and depository services, as well as data and information services across the debt capital, foreign exchange and derivatives markets in Nigeria.

BudgIT Congratulates Dr Ogbonnaya Orji As Executive Secretary, NEITI.

 

Dr. Orji Ogbonanya Orji, NEITI
Dr. Orji Ogbonanya Orji, NEITI

BudgIT congratulates Dr Orji Ogbonnaya Orji on his recent appointment as the Executive Secretary of Nigeria Extractive Transparency Initiative, NEITI. We are confident in his ability to perform brilliantly and excellently; thus, we wish him success in the new role.

BudgIT has consistently collaborated with NEITI to simplify its yearly audit reports and develop engagement strategies for report dissemination. We look forward to more collaborations with NEITI to further strengthen our advocacy towards achieving transparency and accountability in the extractive sector.

BudgIT is a civic organisation that applies technology to intersect citizen engagement with institutional improvement to facilitate societal change. A pioneer in social advocacy melded with technology, BudgIT uses an array of tech tools to simplify the budget and matters of public spending for citizens, with the primary aim of raising the standard of transparency and accountability in government.

New EFCC Boss Abdulrasheed : A Fair And Thorough Professional

By Sunday Adebayo

 

Abdulrasheed Bawa
Abdulrasheed Bawa

It is no longer news that Abdulrasheed Bawa is on his way to becoming the new chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFFC as nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari, pending the Senate’s approval. This relatively unknown young man appears to be the perfect match for the country’s fight against corruption, both in the low and high places, going by his antecedents.

This was contained in a letter by President Buhari on Tuesday, February 16th to the Upper Chamber of the House of Assembly, as a matter of constitutional urgency, to confirm Bawa in accordance with Paragraph 2(3) of Part 1, CAP E 1 of the EFCC Act 2004.

A lot of controversies have surrounded the office of the anti-graft agency over various tenures, from preferential treatment to not following due process, unfair judgment in its investigations, cherry-picking who to take to the slaughter, and the likes. That seems to be the very ‘vices’ Bawa has come to nip in the bud.

For the irst time in history, after so much drama surrounding the sack of the immediate past chairman, Ibrahim Magu, an officer who rose through the cadet of the agency is going to be leading the war against corruption, this is vital as he already knows and understands the terrains, which is going to be key in its leadership operating style going forward.

So, age and youthfulness are not just the things that stand Bawa out in this highly revered position. Bawa who rose from the pioneer cadet of the Commission is a maven when it comes to financial crimes investigations, having gone through several pieces of training in the agency institution in addition to his Degrees in Economics, Masters in International Relations and Diplomacy while currently pursuing another degree in Law.

Those who know him well tell tales of his bravery, dedication, fairness, and balance in his investigation expertise and well known for seeing through any case he hits with his teeth. His thorough stand for the truth, interest in hearing both sides before taking a stand are some of the features that distinguish him in his wealth of experience in the institution. The 40-year-old was the brave brain behind the famous Deziani crude oil swap, Atlantic Energy, and petroleum subsidy fraud investigations by the country’s formidable anti-corruption institution, recovering millions of dollars worth of properties in the UK, Switzerland, U.K., U.A.E., U.S.A., Canada including 92 of such assets in Nigeria and billions of naira, prosecuting many companies. The former Ibadan-zonal head of the EFCC was said to have run the notorious yahoo boys in the area out of town, before moving to Port Harcourt to wage war against oil bunkers. He has also been part of the prosecution of advance fee fraud, bank fraud, official corruption, money laundering, and other economic and financial-related crimes.

Bawa who has been in the anti-corruption fight for about 17 years now is also said to be putting to bed the impression that some people are untouchables as he is said to be taking the war to the house of ‘the bouillon chief’, former governor of Lagos and a Chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He is also chesting the investigations against the former governor of Niger State, Muazu Babaginda Aliyu, who is currently facing trial.

Prior to his appointment, Bawa who is the youngest ever to lead the EFFC, the Commission has been without a substantive chairman since Ibrahim Lamorde in 2015. The Immediate past chairman, Ibrahim Magu operated in an acting capacity from 2015 to 2020, after the Senate failed to confirm him and was later removed in controversial circumstances.

 

Court Adjourns Hearing Of Dantata N 2 billion Fraud Case

 

SEC-Nigeria
SEC-Nigeria

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has adjourned to April 15, 2021 the case between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Dantata Success and Profitable Company and four others.

The company and its promoters were last year charged before the Federal High Court in Abuja for investment fraud amounting to over N2billion. Those charged along with the company are Basira Ibrahim Dantata, Lawan Sanni and Gaji Ibrahim Dantata.

The defendants who were arraigned before Justice A. I Chikere of Federal High Court 3, were alleged to have between 2018 and 2019 within the jurisdiction of the court with intent to 1defraud about 7,250 investing public to subscribe and invest in an unregistered investment scheme amounting to over N2 billion.

According to the charge, they committed an offence contrary to Section 54 of the Investments and Securities Act 2007 and punishable under same section.

When the matter came up in court Wednesday, one of the defendants Gaji Ibrahim Dantata was not available due to health reasons.

Justice Chikere thereby adjourned the matter to April 15, 2021 for plea and motion filed by the defendants.

Recall that the Securities and Exchange Commission pursuant to its powers under Section 13 (w) of the Investments and Securities Act (ISA), 2007, on 6 February 2019 sealed up the business premises of Dantata Success & Profitable Company (DSPC), a company that had been engaging in illegal activities in the Nigerian capital market. In addition, the Commission obtained court orders to freeze the bank accounts of the company to preserve the funds of investors in line with Section 13 (x) of the ISA 2007.

The company was not registered or authorized by the Commission to engage in any activity in the capital markets, however it targeted and reached Nigerian investors through radio programs in the Kano area of Nigeria and collected large sums of money from investors under the guise of a “structured investment”. The activities of the company contravene the provisions of Section 38(1) and 67(1) of the Investments and Securities Act which respectively, prohibit unregistered and unauthorized entities/persons from operating any investment business or making any invitation to the public to acquire or dispose of any securities of a body corporate or to deposit money with anybody corporate for a fixed period or payable at call.

The Commission also issued a warning to the public that Dantata Success & Profitable Company and any individuals representing them are not registered and therefore not entitled to provide investment advisory or services in Nigeria.

The Commission further earned the public to exercise utmost caution before deciding to subscribe to investment schemes and to always confirm the registration status of any company or individual and the products they are offering before entering into any transaction with them. Information about entities registered by the Commission to provide investment services can be found in the following link SEC Capital Market Operator Search.

NNPC Warns Against PMS Hoarding; Assures No Increase In Fuel Price In February

 

NNPC Towers
NNPC Towers

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation,. NNPC has warned petroleum products marketers not to engage in hoarding of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) in order not to create artificial scarcity and unnecessary hardship for Nigerians while giving assurance that it has enough stock of petrol to keep the nation well supplied for about 40 days. It further called on relevant regulatory authorities to step up monitoring of the activities of marketers with a view to sanctioning those involved in products hoarding or arbitrary increase of pump price.
In spite of the rise in the price of crude oil in the international market.

The Corporation has also ruled out any increment in the ex-depot price of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) in February, 2021.
This was disclosed in a press release by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru.
The statement explained that the decision was to allow ongoing engagements with organized labour and other stakeholders on an acceptable framework that will not expose the ordinary Nigerian to any hardship, to be concluded.

It would be recalled that the nation’s downstream sector was deregulated in March 2020 with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, stating that the prices of petroleum products would be determined my prevailing market forces.

Powerful Pen Media : MAJAN Sets For Roundtable Chat On AFCFTA

AfCFTA logo
AfCFTA logo

The Maritime Journalists Association of Nigeria, (MAJAN)  has disclosed that arrangement is in top gear to hold a Roundtable chat on the significance of ‘African Continental Free Trade Agreement’ (AFCFTA) and the preparedness of maritime stakeholders to key into this concept.

President of the association,  Mr. Ray Ugochukwu said, tha MAJAN Roundtable slated for Thursday February 18, 2021, in Lagos.will focus is on “African Continental Free Trade Agreement’ (ACFTA), because this is an important issue at the moment.”

He stated that the Roundtable is going to  take the form of a confab with selected stakeholders on AFCFTA, so as to ensure that the Public is properly and adequately informed through our reports. “As Journalists, it is obligatory on our part to constantly disseminate information to the public,this is exactly what MAJAN is doing”.he added.

Responding to questions on the preparedness of MAJAN to hold its “National Maritime Summit on Apapa traffic gridlock” slated for March, 2021, he said;”We are on course. Plans are on top gear to ensure a successful outing”.He added, “The MAJAN Roundtable chat on AFCFTA is equally important, because recommendations from stakeholders will help government on policies formulation and implementation”.

Meanwhile, the MAJAN) President also called on maritime journalists to practice investigative Journalism in their reportage.

He said maritime is the second largest revenue generating sector for the Federal Government after oil. As such, reporters covering the sector must investigate and bring sharp practices to the attention of government and the entire Public.

According to him, such investigative reports will enable government take proactive measures in tackling factors militating against growth of the sector, in order to ensure sanity in the system.

Ugochukwu emphasised that Journalists must be fair and objective in their reportage., stressing that their investigative reports must be presented with facts.

On the whole, thr MAJAN President urged maritime Journalists to live up to expectation in reporting the sector, especially in exposing the rot in the system.

Mixta Real Estate PLC Series 33 Commercial Paper Listed On FMDQ Exchange

 

FMDQ
FMDQ

Mixta Real Estate Plc Series 33 Commercial Paper has been listed on the FMDQ Exchange. The listing of Mixta is taking place despite the underperformance of the Nigerian real estate sector last year, owing to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Operators in this sector are however optimistic that there could be an early rebound in 2021.

While, affordability continues to be a major limiting factor to home ownership at the bottom of the income pyramid in Nigeria due to the high inflation rate and cost of building materials.

In this regard, the Exchange is pleased to announce the approval of the quotation of the Mixta Real Estate PLC ₦1.66 billion Series 33 Commercial Paper (CP) under its ₦20.00 billion CP Issuance Programme.

As the leading organiser for the Nigerian debt capital market (DCM) and in its role as a catalyst for infrastructure development, FMDQ Securities Exchange Limited provides a choice platform for the registrations, listings, quotations, and trading of debt securities, towards empowering the Nigerian financial market.

The quotation of the Mixta Real Estate PLC ₦1.66 billion Series 33 CP on FMDQ Exchange is another testament to FMDQ’s leadership and resilience in providing the required support to governments, corporates and individuals through the delivery of innovative and dependable capital market solutions. The CP market has continued to prove a viable alternative for corporate entities in diverse business areas looking to secure short-term funding for working capital requirements and other capital expenditures. It avails them with numerous opportunities to carry on with key business activities which contribute to the revitalisation of the Nigerian economy despite the pandemic.

Mixta Real Estate PLC (“Mixta”), a subsidiary of Mixta Africa, is a leading real estate development company in Nigeria. It has a strong track record and diverse real estate portfolio, with operations spanning the residential, commercial, and retail sectors of the Nigerian real estate industry. Mixta has successfully delivered close to 4,400 real estate assets, comprising homes, plots and retail outlets to end-buyers and continues to seek innovative solutions to activate development finance for affordable housing in Nigeria.

The Mixta CP, like all other securities listed, quoted and traded on the FMDQ Exchange platform, shall be availed global visibility through FMDQ Exchange’s website and systems, transparency through its inclusion in the FMDQ daily Quotations List, governance and continuous information disclosure to protect investor interest, credible price formation amongst other benefits derived from its preferred admission to the FMDQ Exchange platform.

FMDQ Group is Africa’s first vertically integrated financial market infrastructure (FMI) group which provides a one-stop platform for the seamless and cost-efficient execution, risk management, clearing, settlement, depository and data and information services for the Nigerian financial market, through its subsidiaries – FMDQ Exchange, FMDQ Clear Limited, FMDQ Depository Limited and FMDQ Private Markets Limited.

SEC Debunks Perceived Policy Conflict With CBN Directive On Digital Assets

 

DG, SEC, Lamido Yuguda
DG, SEC, Lamido Yuguda

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has debunked any inconsistencies between policy and that of the CBN on digital assets stating that there is no conflict between the SEC Statement on Digital Assets and their Classification and Treatment of September 11, 2020 and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Circular of February 5, 2021.

The clarification became necessary following several complaints comments and inquiries from the public on a perceived policy conflict between both agencies of government.

A statement by the apex Capital Market regulatory institution on the country read ” we see no such contradictions or inconsistencies. ”

The statement further explained that though digital assets may have the full characteristics of investments as defined in the Investments and Securities Act 2007, the SEC Statement asserts that trading in such assets falls under SEC’s regulatory purview, except proven otherwise. The primary objective of the Statement was not to hinder or stifle innovation, but to establish standards of ethical practices that ultimately make for a fair and efficient securities market.

The SEC, the statement further explained issued this directivr at the time, to provide regulatory certainty within the digital asset space, due to the growing volume of reported flows. Subsequently, in its capacity as the regulator of the banking system, the CBN identified certain risks, which if allowed to persist, will threaten investor protection, a key mandateof the SEC, as well as financial system stability, a key mandate of the CBN.

In light of these facts, we have engaged with the CBN and agreed to work together to further analyse, and better understand the identified risks to ensure that appropriate and adequate mitigants are put in place, should such securities be allowed in the future.

Consequently, it has become necessary to provide the following clarifications about the implementation of SEC’s Capital Market FinTech Strategy, first, for the purpose of admittance into the SEC Regulatory Incubation Framework, the assessment of all persons (and products) affected by the CBN Circular of February 5, 2021 is hereby put on hold until such persons are able to operate bank accounts within the Nigerian banking system.

Secondly, the planned implementation of the SEC Regulatory Incubation Guidelines for FinTech firms who intend to introduce innovative models for offering capital market products and services will continue and lastly, the SEC will continue to monitor developments in the digital asset space and further engage all critical stakeholders with a view to creating a regulatory structure that enhances economic development while promoting a safe, innovative and transparent capital market.