On May 3, 2023, the Government of Nigeria approved a National Blockchain Policy at its meeting. This policy was drafted following a memo from Isa Ali Ibrahim, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy. Nigeria is known as one of the world’s most curious countries when it comes to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Global blockchain adoption can add to GDP
According to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMCDE) op Twitter widespread adoption of blockchain technology across industries could contribute to global gross domestic product by a potential $1.76/€1.60 trillion by 2030, equivalent to 1.4% of the world’s GDP. This prediction was made by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), and was quoted in the national blockchain policy announcement.
The policy was commissioned by the Federal Government of Nigeria and following consultations with stakeholders from both the public and private sectors. The national blockchain policy has been developed in line with the seventh pillar of the national policy and strategy for the digital economy, which focuses on the digital society and emerging technologies.
Promote development of digital economy
In October 2020, a blockchain adoption strategy presented, which stated that the adoption of blockchain and decentralized ledger technology would promote the development of Nigeria’s digital economy. The policy aims to create a secure and efficient blockchain-based economy that enables value exchange, data sharing, and transactions between individuals, businesses, and government.
The implementation of this policy is expected to have a positive impact on both the public and private sectors in Nigeria. The policy will be coordinated by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), overseen by the FMCDE. A multisectoral steering committee has also been established to monitor policy implementation.
Creating economy based on blockchain
The goal of the policy is to create a blockchain-based economy that enables secure transactions, data sharing, and value exchange between individuals, businesses, and government. The implementation of the policy is expected to have a positive impact on both the public and private sectors in Nigeria. The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) will be responsible for coordinating policy initiatives under the oversight of the FMCDE. A multisectoral steering committee has also been established to monitor policy implementation.
The Federal Executive Council has directed the relevant regulatory bodies such as NITDA, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the National Universities Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Nigerian Communications Commission to develop regulatory frameworks for the implementation of blockchain technology in various sectors of the economy.
The blockchain adoption strategy
The blockchain adoption strategy includes several initiatives, including establishing a consortium for blockchain in Nigeria, strengthening the regulatory and legal framework, promoting digital identity, creating incentive programs for companies to use blockchain, promoting digital literacy and awareness of blockchain technology, and establishing a national blockchain sandbox for testing and piloting.
Despite this, cryptocurrency transactions remain illegal in the country despite the new policy.