TEMPLARS Partner Zelda Akindele, Senior Associate Victor Sameria, and Associate Joshua Chizoma have issued this Client Alert to discuss the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) Accelerated Regulatory Incubation Programme (ARIP).

This program serves as an interim compliance guide for onboarding Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) and other Digital Investments Service Providers (DISPs).

The ARIP enforces strict compliance with regulations, including local incorporation, having a resident CEO, and completing a two-phase application process. It also covers financial and operational controls, reporting obligations, and limits on customer base growth for both domestic and international VASPs targeting Nigerian investors. Participants must adhere to anti-money laundering laws, and non-compliance may result in heavy penalties. This program is an interim measure aimed at providing a window for VASP registration and addressing regulatory gaps in Nigeria’s digital asset space whilst the SEC finalizes its digital asset rules.