Last updated on August 17th, 2023 at 08:29 pm
While the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) believes that cryptocurrency should be restricted because of the risks involved in its trading, Clem Ikanade Agba, Nigeria’s Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, says that Nigeria should look beyond the risk in crypto assets, stating that apex bank should put in place regulations to control it instead of ban or restrictions.
According to him, blockchain technology is going to disrupt the banking sector. The world is rapidly going digital, this brought about cryptocurrencies like bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin (LTC) among others which are gradually becoming the new form of exchange around the world.
However, crypto has over the years met with a lot of setbacks and scepticism and non-acceptance by individuals, groups, and countries.
At the time the minister made the call, Nigeria was among the countries that were yet to legally recognize cryptocurrency as a means of exchange following its policies to ensure that financial institutions do not facilitate crypto-related transactions.
Interestingly, the former Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, believed that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should be regulating the virtual currency instead of its restricting its use.
Thankfully, five months after the Edo-burn politician made the call, the Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a new rule book to regulate digital assets operations and guidelines for crypto exchange operations in Nigeria.
Who is Clem Ikanade Agba?
- Nationality: Nigerian
- Home State: Edo State
- Birth Date: March 28 1964
- Religion: Christian
- Marital Status: Married
- Children: 4
- Career: Politician / Civil servant (former Minister of State Budget & National Planning)
The Nigerian politician and the former Minister of State, Budget and National Planning Clem Ikanade Agba came into this world in the year 1964 and he is born to a royal family, that is, the family of Pius Kadiri Ikanade Agba, the Oliola of Uzanu.
Growing up, Agba attended Saint Vincent Primary School, Auchi in Edo state where completed his first school leaving certificate. He then attended the popular Saint John’s Grammar School, Fugar.
Having completed his secondary education, Agba attended Ambrose Alli University (formerly known as Bendel State University), Ekpoma where he graduated with a degree in Economics in 1985.
Agba’s love and interest in education were further showed when he acquired two Masters Degrees in Business Administration: first from the University of Benin, specializing in Management and second M.Sc. from the Arizona State University, USA, specializing in Supply Chain Management.
Agba is a man with a wealth of experience and has worked in numerous private and public organizations. It is no surprise going by his qualifications and work experience over the years he has gathered a wealth of experience which had earned him a ministerial position.
His career kicked off with Pegasus Industries and after working some years with the organization, he later worked with Super Engineering.
Soon afterwards, Agba opt to work for Chevron Nigeria Limited. He was later appointed as the Commissioner in the Edo State Ministry of Environment and Public Utilities.
As a Minister
On August 21, 2019, Agba was among the 44 ministers who were sworn in by President Muhammadu Buhari. At the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Agba has been instrumental in the timely preparation of the budget and submission to the National Assembly along with a ‘senior’ minister Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed.
Ikande Agba is a well-respected minister and one who has attained a lot of achievements in his career. He has won several awards and honours in his career.
Agba is a Professional Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Administration, he is a Fellow of the Nigerian Environmental Society and a recipient of the Save-the-Ozone Award of Excellence in Environmental Management.
More so, he was awarded Chevron Nigeria Limited as the Diversity Ambassador. Other notable awards include the ones he received from Uneme National Development Union, Auchi Allied Association, Uzanu Progressive Union, just to mention but a few.
Furthermore, among his notable achievements was his admittance and induction into the Advisory Board of the Eternal Sacred Order of the Cherubim and Seraphim (ESOCS) Church in December 2013. The body is known to be the highest decision-making body of the ESOCS Church.
This shows that we are not just talking about a man who is a newbie to the world of influence and impact, but a man who has over time built his reputation in delivering the best of services when it comes to education, environmental and financial services.
Clem Ikanade Agba’s View About Cryptocurrency
Whether we like it or not, cryptocurrency is becoming the new norm of exchange as many corporations and businesses are beginning to adopt it as a recognized means of payment and exchange. Even in Nigeria, the use of cryptocurrency continues to boom among crypto enthusiasts.
Although most countries are still in doubt as to the safety and authenticity of cryptocurrency, others are adopting and creating laws and systems that will strengthen the use of the currency.
In Nigeria, cryptocurrency is still red-flagged for several reasons, however, during the maiden edition of Technext conference in Lagos, he said cryptocurrency has huge potential and it can be the biggest disruptor in finance and governance in the world has ever experienced.
In the same vein, he further calls for the regulation of the crypto industry. He acknowledged that blockchain provides limitless opportunities across several industries and is affecting not just the way money is perceived, but assets in general.
He further emphasized in his speech, the need for blockchain technology to make provision for assets to be authenticated without having a need for third-party verification. Believing that this practice will benefit citizens and all levels of government.
The rapidly flourishing developments in the blockchain industry can be outsourced as a solution in the near future to the problems of tracking asset ownership and at the same time deliver the highest confidence in the authenticity of a buyer.
Notably, in his speech, Agba mentioned that The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning and the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN), are fully autonomous body that helps to regulate and oversee the blockchain industry.
He gave his word that the government’s intention to create a positive blockchain industry in the country remains and that Nigeria’s Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) is holding discussions with CBN to enable better rapport and regulation of the crypto space.
He stated that cryptocurrency regulations are essential and needful putting into consideration the good cryptocurrencies have so far produced.
However, there are also hundreds of thousands of individuals who have accrued losses that will be felt by future generations through scams in the crypto space.
Would Clem Ikanade Agba Nigerian Allow Cryptocurrency Trading in Nigeria If He Were CBN Governor?
From all indications and especially his speech during the Technext conference in Lagos, we perceive that Agba’s interest lingers towards the embracing of cryptocurrencies.
He believes that it has a positive impact on a nation’s economy and corporate businesses if regulations are put in place.
It is without doubt and almost safe to say if Clem Ikanade Agba is made CBN governor would allow cryptocurrency. He has a positive perception of cryptocurrency as noted in his speech when he mentioned if he had demonstrated that both citizens and governments now perceive the benefits of cryptocurrencies and share a mutual belief in them.
Truth be told, the prospect of cryptocurrency is high as most countries are making gradual adopting and making regulations to ensure its safe use.
Nigeria cannot be left out of this green opportunity going by the country’s obsessive craving for technology.
Agba is happily married to Mrs Catherine. She is from the famous Gaius-Obaseki family of Benin City. The couple is blessed with four children, all male.
Cryptocurrency is fast becoming an acceptable currency worldwide even though there remain some setbacks and most countries still oppose it as a means of exchange some countries are already developing Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) e.g eNaira by Nigeria’s apex bank in 2021.
The fear is justifiable owing to the incessant fluctuation and volatility of the currency value. Nonetheless, many businesses and corporations are gradually recognizing crypto as a form of payment of exchange.
Having influential people like Clement Ikande Agba coming out to make known the positive impact and benefits of cryptocurrency to a nation’s economy is a sign of good news for Nigerians in the nearest future.
- By Conclave NG