The Chief Executive Officer of Patricia, a fintech company, Hanu Fejiro, has said that cryptocurrency trading in Nigeria has become an industry too big for the Nigerian government to neglect. According to him, Nigeria now ranks fourth in the world in terms of cryptocurrency transactions, with over 22 million Nigerians trading in the market.
Speaking in a chat with Nairametrics at the sideline of the 2022 Technext Conference themed: ‘Blockchain and DeFi – Beyond the hype’, Fejiro said the government needs to pay serious attention to the industry and come up with the right policies to aid its growth from the benefit of the nation’s economy.
He notes that cryptocurrency is now giving vast opportunities to the younger generation and it presents a new shift in wealth creation more than the country has ever seen before. According to him, with NFTs, crypto trading, and gaming guilds where people can play games and earn money, there is a shift in wealth creation for the younger generation.
What the Patricia CEO is saying
Asked why the number of Nigerians playing in the crypto space continues to increase despite the stance of the Central Bank of Nigeria on cryptocurrency, Fejiro said: “That goes to show that you can’t close the stable doors when the horse has already left. Today, Nigeria is the fourth country in the world with the most crypto transactions. And that’s not a joke.
“You know, America is leading, but America has regulation. America has had regulation for the past 2 to 3years now. Now, Nigeria with no regulation 4th in the world with about 22 million crypto users.”
“Crypto is too huge an industry not to pay attention to really, and I think that the government needs to get aligned. There needs to be a handshake,” he added.
On what the government needs to do, the Patricia CEO said: “They say the youths are the future. What are the youths doing today? Music, sports, and crypto. There needs to be government support for these industries to grow. There need to be free trade zones made especially for crypto; there need to be public policies.
“We need to move away from the idea of fossil fuel in terms of crude oil and focus on human capital as our main resource right now.
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“Now, everybody wants to go to Canada, go to the UK, we are losing the most important thing that we have which is human capital. So the minute we can turn things around as a government, Nigeria will become the real giant of Africa.”
Other takeaways from the conference
At one of the breakout sessions during the Technext 2.0 conference, the panelists stressed the need for regulation of digital currencies and decentralised financing (DeFi) in Nigeria, especially from the consumer perspective.
One of the panelists and CEO of Appzone, Mr. Obi Emetarom said regulation, especially from the consumer point of view, remained one key area that will make DeFi more inclusive.
According to him, regulation gives a strong backing that will make online financing and trading more secure, stable, and trusted.