The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has developed a National Blockchain Policy which will serve as a means to diversify the economy on behalf of the federal government. This is in agreement with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), which was unveiled in November 2019 by President Muhammadu Buhari.

This latest move towards blockchain technology was also triggered by the nation’s efforts to move away from relying heavily on the oil and gas sector and give room for the economy to “advance” into one driven by digital technologies.

The first draft of this policy was released in October 2020, which defined the strategy and stated that it was in agreement with the 8 pillars of the ‘DIGITAL NIGERIA’ Roadmap of the FMCDE. With an emphasis on – Developmental Regulation, Digital Services Development & Promotion, Service Infrastructure, Digital Literacy & Skills, Solid Infrastructure, Digital Society & Emerging technologies, Soft Infrastructure, and finally, Indigenous Content Development and Adoption.

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) will be saddled with the responsibility of coordinating the policy initiatives under the surveillance of the FMCDE. The authorities have also set up a multisectoral steering committee to monitor policy implementation.

On the other hand, the Federal Executive Council directed relevant regulatory bodies – NITDA, Nigeria’s Central Bank, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Universities Commission, and the Nigerian Communications Commission to create regulatory structures for blockchain implementation across various sectors of the economy.

However, Nigeria’s SEC plans to support tokenization, with its major focus being on real-world assets such as bonds, equities, and real estate. Cryptocurrency is not on the roadmap.

Earlier this year, the country experienced a shortage of cash which resulted in violent protests, that left countless citizens injured and a few dead. Nigerians have rallied around cryptocurrencies to guard against current inflation and avoid the various challenges in online payments using the naira. On the Chainalysis 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index, The country was ranked 11th and placed in the 17th position for peer-to-peer exchange trade volume.

According to Nadeem Anjarwalla Binance’s West & East Africa Director, the endorsement of the policy points to the fact that Nigeria is positioning itself as a nation significantly ahead of the curve.

Featured Image Source: Voice Of Nigeria

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