Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMCDE) has approved the National Blockchain Policy as the country doubles down on creating a blockchain-powered economy.
The adoption of the policy by the government will pave the way for the formal utilization of the technology in the country, which has seen significant crypto adoption in recent years. The FMCDE believes its implementation will have a positive effect on both the public and private sectors in Nigeria.
The latest push towards blockchain has also been prompted by Nigeria’s efforts to move away from its heavy economic reliance on the oil and gas sector and instead allow the economy to “leapfrog” into one driven by digital technologies.
As such, the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy developed the National Blockchain Policy to diversify the economy on behalf of the federal government. This is in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), which was unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2019.
Subsequently, the first draft of the policy released in October 2020 outlined the strategy and stated that it aligns with the 8 pillars of the ‘DIGITAL NIGERIA’ Roadmap of the FMCDE. They focus on – Developmental Regulation, Digital Literacy & Skills, Solid Infrastructure, Service Infrastructure, Digital Services Development & Promotion, Soft Infrastructure, Digital Society & Emerging technologies, and finally, Indigenous Content Development and Adoption.
“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 National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) will be tasked with coordinating the policy initiatives under the oversight of the FMCDE. The authorities have also set up a multisectoral steering committee to monitor policy implementation.
The Federal Executive Council, on the other hand, directed relevant regulatory bodies – NITDA, Nigeria’s Central Bank, the National Universities Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Nigerian Communications Commission to develop regulatory structures for blockchain implementation across various sectors of the economy.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s SEC plans to support tokenization, with the main focus being real-world assets such as equities, bonds, and real estate. Cryptocurrency, however, is not on the roadmap.
Earlier this year, the country witnessed a cash shortage that led to violent protests, leaving countless citizens injured and a few dead. Nigerians have flocked to cryptocurrencies to hedge against current inflation and dodge the various limitations on naira transactions in online payments. The African country was ranked 11th on the Chainalysis 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index and 17th for peer-to-peer exchange trade volume.
According to Binance’s West & East Africa Director Nadeem Anjarwalla, the approval of the policy indicates that Nigeria is positioning itself as a nation significantly ahead of the curve. In a statement to CryptoPotato, Anjarwalla commended the all-encompassing approach laid out in the reviewed policy document based on the key initiatives that include establishing a blockchain consortium and strengthening the regulatory and legal framework.
“We believe that growth in blockchain technology is set to become a key differentiator for economies and a key measure of international competitiveness in the next decade for attracting foreign direct investment, cultivating innovation, and creating jobs. As such, this is a welcome development and a significant milestone for the blockchain industry in Nigeria.”
Blockchain Tech Adoption Trajectory
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) recently published a report extensively analyzing blockchain technology. It observed that blockchain, which happens to be one of the “world’s fastest developing technologies,” could boost the global economy with $1.76 trillion by 2030.
The economists at the finance giant expect the majority of businesses to be leveraging blockchain by 2025. By 2025, blockchain’s GDP is estimated to reach $422 billion.
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