Business urges Nigeria to hasten blockchain implementation
Blockchain and fintech players in Nigeria have expressed concern over the need for a forward-looking regulatory framework and are urging the government to implement policies that encourage the widespread adoption of blockchain technology.
At a recent Stakeholders' policy dialogue convened by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SiBAN) in Lagos, the two sectors voiced their discontent.
According to them, a regulatory framework with an eye towards the future accelerates the adoption of blockchain technology across industries.
On 3 May 2023, Nigeria enacted its National Blockchain Policy, making it the first country on the African continent to implement this vital technology on a national scale.
However, the industry is concerned about the pace of policy implementation.
Obinna Iwuno, the president of SIBAN, stated that Nigeria was completely prepared for the comprehensive implementation and that doing so would position the nation as a leader in the digital economy landscape.
He said: "For the first time, all industry stakeholders, regulators, and operators are present. If completely implemented, the government's blockchain policy will position Nigeria as a leader in the digital economy landscape of the African continent.
“The policy will enable Nigeria to maximise the potential of Blockchain technology and establish the nation as a global leader in the Blockchain ecosystem.”
Iwuno called for the adoption of the technology and collaboration to use Blockchain to create a prosperous future for Nigeria.
Kashifu Inuwa, the general director of NITDA, delivered the keynote address titled: Driving Sustainable Economic Growth and Development through the Adoption of Blockchain Technology.
"Blockchain technology has the potential to drive economic growth, foster job creation, and address the persistent issue of financial inclusion," he stated.
Inuwa added: "While it is commendable that we have a policy in place to accelerate the adoption of this game-changing technology, and we are no longer playing catch-up, the National Blockchain Policy is meant to serve as our road map for the adoption of Blockchain technology in Nigeria, and its adoption presents a tremendous opportunity to improve the quality of services offered by the public and private sectors.
“With technological advancements propelling leading nations today, the demand to position Nigeria as a formidable competitor on the international stage resounds loudly.”
Preye Itonyo, the Deputy Director of the Digital Economy Development Department at NITDA, emphasised the importance of collaboration between industry stakeholders and the government in order to transform Nigeria into a global blockchain centre.