The Federal Government of Nigeria, on Wednesday, approved the National Blockchain Policy. Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, made the disclosure while briefing newsmen after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the state house in Abuja.
The minister in his remark, said, “The Federal Government of Nigeria, today, approves the national blockchain policy for Nigeria. This policy was got through consultation with our stakeholders, where 56 institutions and personalities were involved in the process of conceptualising, developing, and reviewing the policy.”
“With the approval of the national blockchain policy for Nigeria, today, we can safely say that blockchain technology, with all its components and types; has been institutionalised in the country.”
Patami equally, noted that the Security Council has directed regulatory bodies to liaise with the National Information Technology Development Agency, – who will be coordinating the programme – to come up with regulatory instruments in all sectors.
The National Blockchain Policy for Nigeria is aligned with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy unveiled by President Buhari in November 2019. The policy was developed by the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy in line with the 7th Pillar of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, which focuses on Digital Society and Emerging Technologies. The approval of the policy institutionalises blockchain technology in the country and underlines its potential opportunities. Studies by PwC predict that blockchain could add $1.76 trillion to the global GDP by 2030.
National Blockchain Policy, Yes, But Blockchain is Not New in the Country
The NITDA had previously partnered with Domineum Blockchain Solutions to launch the 2022 Blockchain Scholarship Program, which aims to train 30,000 Nigerians in blockchain technology and develop their professional skills in emerging technologies. Additionally, the Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA) has entered into discussions with Binance to create a digital economy that will help entrepreneurs accelerate blockchain technology in the West African country. The partnership aims to create a digital hub similar to Virtual Dubai, offering zero percent tax rates, preferential tariff rates, and 100% import and export tax exemptions to improve international business.
Blockchain is not a new technology for the Nigerian government, as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) used the Hyperledger Fabric blockchain to power the country’s digital currency, eNaira.
In addition, a multi-sectoral Steering Committee has been approved to oversee the implementation of the National Blockchain Policy for Nigeria.
In conclusion, the approval of the National Blockchain Policy for Nigeria highlights the country’s commitment to institutionalising blockchain technology and its potential to transform the economy. The policy aligns with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy and was developed with input from stakeholders. The government’s partnership with private sector players such as Binance and Domineum Blockchain Solutions shows its willingness to collaborate with other stakeholders to develop the technology further.