By Chioma Iruke
The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offences Commission (ICPC) has called for regulation of cryptocurrency trading in Nigeria to prevent the swindling of unsuspecting members of the public.
ICPC Chairman Bolaji Owasanoye made the call at the opening of a two-day capacity building retreat for members of the House of Representatives Committee on Anti-Corruption, and Board Members and Directors of the Commission held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The retreat deliberated on corruption Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) and financing for National Development.
“Nigeria needs regulatory intervention in cryptocurrency trading. Some people trading in cryptocurrency have used the digital currency and assets to engage in corruption, money laundering and terrorism financing. Corruption in digital assets is not easily traceable,” Owasanoye said.
ICPC spokesperson Azuka Ogugua in a statement on Wednesday said the ICPC boss emphasized the need for more regulations from the legislatures to address IFFs and other related offences, stating that the breaches in the law and absence of regulatory framework have encouraged perpetrators of the crimes to continue to engage in the crime.
He added that regulation will strengthen the economy and lessen the rate of borrowings by the country.
He assured the legislators that the Commission would continue to cooperate with them to achieve its mandate of ridding Nigeria of corruption through lawful enforcement and preventive means.
Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Anti-Corruption, Nicholas Shehu, commended the anti-graft agency for collaborating with the House in the fight against corruption in Nigeria.
Shehu said, “Corruption has held Nigeria backwards for many years and whatever we can do, we will do to help the fight against corruption. The 9th National Assembly has made the fight against corruption one of its cardinal mandates.
“The House of Representatives stands ready to partner with the ICPC in the achievement of its mandate which is to rid the country of corruption.”
Nigeria reportedly has the second-largest Bitcoin market in the world, with over $500million worth of Bitcoin traded over the last five years.