The Nigerian Government has declared that the blockchain technology and all its components and types are no more illegal but now legal in the country.
The deckaration was the result of the launched a National Policy on Blockchain Technology and inaugurated Implementation and Steering Committee to oversee its implementation.
The policy, which was launched by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami, is to promote the adoption of blockchain technology in Nigeria and to position the country as a leading player in the global blockchain ecosystem.
While launching the Policy on behalf of Federal Government of Nigeria, Pantami recalled that the journey of Blockchain Technology officially started in Nigeria on 28th November, 2019 at the International Conference Centre, Abuja where President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled and launched the National Digital Economy Policy & Strategy (NDEPS) for a Digital Nigeria.
The Minister explained that the seventh pillar which is ‘Digital Society and Emerging Technologies’ out of the eight captured in the Policy, is now achieving the desired progress as Blockchain remains one of the Emerging Technologies.
He said, “In order to implement the seventh pillar, we had to develop other policies, including Policy on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics which brought about the establishment of the first ever National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR) in Africa, sited here in Abuja”.
“Also, in our efforts to implement the policy, particularly, pillar number seven, we developed the National Blockchain Policy for Nigeria”, Pantami noted.
He stressed the importance of the technology to the nation’s Digital Economy drive, noting that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is comparatively the one that has not relegated African Continent to the background, especially as African Nations, particularly Nigeria are actively participating in the revolution which he added is an extension of the third revolution.
“Blockchain Technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, Cloud and Quantum Computing, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Autonomous Vehicle, Bio Technology, 5G, Cyber Security, are all disruptive technologies brought by the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Nigeria is one of the, at least three countries in Africa, that are actively involved in the 4th Industrial Revolution,” he added.
According to the Minister, the success stories of exploits and displays of ingenuity by Nigerian innovators underscore the country’s position as a key player in Africa’s technological advancement and strengthens the country’s position as the leading startup hub in Africa.
The Digital Economy Boss maintained that prior to the approval of the policy, a total of fifty six stakeholders and institutions were engaged in the scrutiny of the document.
“This policy is to provide an enabling environment for your teaming young population who are mostly digital natives to partake in critical thinking, identify complex problems, come up with solutions for implementation of adoption in Nigeria or any parts of the world”, Pantami noted.
The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa said that the event signalled a remarkable milestone in the journey towards achieving a Digital Nigeria where citizens have access to the latest technology, skills and a conducive environment to innovate in the realm of the Blockchain Technology.
He said that the policy represents a significant leap and the opportunity to create an enabling environment through investments in talents, access to the technology and domestication.
The DG said “this will give our citizens the opportunity to create and capture value from the enormous benefits of the tech”.
Inuwa who quoted PWC that by 2030, the Blockchain Technology will add $1.76Trillion to the global GDP maintained that the plan is to ensure that Nigeria positions itself properly to benefit therefrom.
“If the policy is implemented, Nigeria can gain up to $4B”, Inuwa avowed.
The launch also featured the inauguration of the National Blockchain Policy Implementation/Steering Committee and graduation of 32,022 beneficiaries trained in Blockchain Technology.
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