- The Nigerian government has approved the national blockchain policy, which will be coordinated by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) under the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
- The policy aligns with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) and focuses on digital society and emerging technologies.
- Blockchain technology has the potential to revolutionize various sectors, including finance, health, education, security, and agriculture, by providing decentralization, cost-effectiveness, transparency, and reliability.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting held at the state house in Abuja on Wednesday, confirmed that the federal government of Nigeria has approved the national blockchain policy.
The minister disclosed that the activities outlined in the policy would be coordinated by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
The national blockchain policy aligns with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) which was unveiled and launched by President Muhammadu Buhari on 28 November 2019.
The policy was developed by the federal ministry of communications and digital economy in line with the 7th Pillar of the NDEPS, which focuses on digital society and emerging technologies.
What you need to know
Blockchain is a distributed ledger technology that improves centralised-based solutions in different ways. It creates a platform for designing financial services to bridge many gaps in today’s virtual market system.
While traditional databases track records for single entities only, blockchain connects a group of entities and allows for data to be synchronised across multiple, independent stakeholders.
Blockchain usage is particularly alluring for small businesses. It provides them with an affordable and efficient avenue to make and receive payments, access investment and savings products, and build a credit history.
Enabling greater access to this technology can foster Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) growth, which, in turn can enhance job creation and economic development.
Blockchain’s diverse applications
Beyond financial services, blockchain technology can be leveraged in health, education, security, and agricultural sectors, for the decentralised, cost-effective,
transparent, and reliable advantage the technology can provide.
Contrary to popular believe that cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, ethereum etc, are what blockchain is all about, many offshoots of the underlying technology have evolved.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), blockchain technologies can boost the global economy by about US$1.76trn by 2030, and Nigeria as an emerging economy if positioned early, will benefit greatly from the technology.
However, just like other disruptive technologies, there are downsides which include immutability of transaction data, high implementation cost, higher energy consumption, possible loss of access due to self-maintenance etc.
Beyond these, there is also scope for abuse as people can use these new technologies for scams, fraud etc, implying a need for robust business and consumer protection safeguards, and effective anti-money-laundering controls.