Blockchain Policy: Nigeria Joins UK, Singapore, Others in Technology Adoption Following FG’s Approval

  • Pantami tasks NITDA, NCC, Others on robust regulatory framework

By Seun Adams

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the National Blockchain Policy (NBP) for Nigeria during its meeting today, Wednesday (3rd) even as the process of conceptualizing and developing the policy is said to involve robust stakeholder engagements across the public and private sectors.

The approval came via the presentation of a memo by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Ibrahim Pantami. The process of developing the Policy involved robust stakeholder engagements across the public and private sectors.

FEC has therefore directed relevant NITDA, NCC, CBN, the National Universities Commission (NUC) and SEC to develop regulatory instruments for the deployment of the technology across various sectors of the economy.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Blockchain Technologies could boost the global economy with $1.76 trillion by 2030.

The Senior Technical Assistant (R/D) to the Minister, Dr. Femi Adeluyi, in a statement made available to the media, said the country’s National Blockchain Policy is line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), which was unveiled and launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on the 28th of November, 2019.

According to Adeluyi, the vision of the policy is to create a blockchain-powered economy that supports secure transactions, data sharing, and value exchange between people, businesses, and government, thereby enhancing innovation, trust, growth, and prosperity for all.

The implementation of the national blockchain policy will have a positive effect on both the public and private sectors of the country, the SSA, added. 

Blockchain Technology, he said has the potential to revolutionise many industries, from finance and healthcare to transportation and supply chain management.

“Blockchain Technology makes transactions more transparent, trustworthy, and efficient and it can result in considerable cost savings and better user experiences. Furthermore, Blockchain Technology can boost innovation, improve public services, create job opportunities, and drive economic growth. 

“These benefits have inspired governments around the world to explore ways to leverage this important technology. With the approval of the policy, Nigeria joins the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Estonia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Denmark and other leading technology countries in adopting blockchain technology at the national level. 

The activities of the policy shall be coordinated by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.  A multi-sectoral Steering Committee has also been approved to oversee the implementation of the policy.

MDAs as well as the private sector are urged to leverage the technologies in education, health, security, agriculture and finance, among many other sectors.  Deploying these applications will further support in the implementation of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria.

She however, recalled that the Minister has vehemently opposed the proposed 5% Excise Duty for Telecommunications Services, on the grounds that it is unjustifiable, as it will be burdensome for the citizens of the country.

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