Nigeria Is Developing Strategies for National Blockchain Adoption

Nigerian authorities are developing a roadmap for the adoption of blockchain technology in public administration and payments on a national scale.

Oct 15, 2020 at 4:38 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 10:10 a.m. UTC

Nigeria’s federal government is reportedly developing an ambitious plan to facilitate national crypto adoption with the vision of creating a “Digital Nigeria.”  

  • According to an early draft of the strategy framework obtained by local publication Technology Times, the country’s Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) have partnered to develop a blueprint for national blockchain adoption.
  • The project was confirmed by a blockchain engineer who worked on the draft.
  • Aptly titled the “National Blockchain Adoption Strategy,” the document states that facilitating blockchain adoption is part of a larger effort by Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari to diversify the Nigerian economy.
  • Protests have erupted across Nigeria, with citizens marching against police brutality, including calling for the disbandment of the special anti-robbery squad SARS. Buhari has come under fire for renaming – rather than disbanding – SARS. 
  • Protest groups in Nigeria have accused the government of interfering with traditional fundraising methods, and have begun raising funds using the Bitcoin system to circumvent censorship.
  • According to the new framework, the idea is to “use blockchain technology as a platform for the transition into a digital economy.”
  • In 2017, the Central Bank of Nigeria declared digital currencies are not legal tender in Nigeria, while the country’s Securities and Exchange Commission warned against the risks of investing in digital assets.
  • But last month regulators showed interest in governing the space, with Nigeria's SEC saying it will treat all cryptocurrencies and token offerings as securities.   
  • Now, the proposed adoption framework includes an initiative to create a legal framework for governing the crypto space.
  • The draft also outlined five strategic objectives: establishing regulatory oversight; stimulating innovation and entrepreneurship; developing security, trust, and transparency in value chains; encouraging investment opportunities and job creation; and governance.
  • The blueprint also alluded to the creation of a National Blockchain Consortium aimed at driving adoption initiatives, particularly in applications in the public sector. 
  • Nigeria’s mission is to drive adoption of the technology in public administration, leading to improved efficiency, transparency and accountability, according to the document. 
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