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FEC approves the adoption of the National Blockchain Policy in Nigeria

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Destiny Young
Destiny Younghttp://linktr.ee/youngdestinya
Destiny Young is a highly credentialed information technology professional with over 13 years of industry experience. An HND/BSc (Hons) Computer Science graduate. He holds a Master of Technology degree in Information Technology from the prestigious University of South Africa (UNISA). He is a Distinction-grade MBA alumnus of Nexford University, Washington, DC, where he also obtained a First-class MSc degree in Digital Transformation. He is currently pursuing MSc in Cybersecurity. His professional development direction is in Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation, and Business Intelligence. He is a member of the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute of Administration of Nigeria (CIA), the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), etc.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved a National Blockchain Policy for Nigeria to institutionalize the blockchain technology in the country.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami, disclosed this while briefing correspondents on the outcome of the council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said the approval of the policy means that the federal government has formally approved the use of the blockchain platforms, including the one for crypto-currency.

Pantami added that relevant agencies are expected to develop appropriate usage and regulatory frameworks.

He also said that a National Steering Council has been established with all other relevant federal government agencies and functionaries being represented.

It is to be headed by the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).

According to the Minister further, the policy was developed through consultations with 56 institutions and personalities and aims to institutionalize blockchain technology in Nigeria’s economy and security sectors.

While noting that Pantami the National Blockchain Policy was his ministry’s 23rd national policy approved by Council, Pantami also disclosed that the policy document for the newly approved policy should be online soon.

He explained: “Today, the Federal Executive Council has approved the National Blockchain Policy for Nigeria. As we all know, the federal government of Nigeria has earlier approved the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria. It was unveiled and launched by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, on the November 28, 2019.

“In the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria, we have eight pillars. Pillar number seven is digital society and emerging technologies. In order to simplify the implementation of that pillar, the federal government of Nigeria has earlier approved the National Policy on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics that led to the establishment of the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and robotics here in Abuja.

“In order to consolidate the implementation of the emerging technology pillar, the federal government of Nigeria today approved the National Blockchain Policy for Nigeria. This policy was developed through consultation with our stakeholders where 56 institutions and personalities were involved in the process of conceptualising, developing and reviewing the policy.

“With the approval of the National Blockchain Policy for Nigeria today, we can safely say that blockchain technology, with all its components and types, have been institutionalised in the country and part of the approval of the Federal Executive Council is directing regulatory bodies to liaise with the National Information Technology Development Agency to ensure that they come up with regulatory instruments in all sectors of our economy and security.

“Blockchain technology is relevant to so many sectors in banking, in security, in education, in commerce, among many others.

“So, regulatory bodies like the Central Bank of Nigeria, Nigerian Communications Commission, Security and Exchange Commission, National Universities Commission have been directed with the approval to come up with the regulatory instruments within their sector for the implementation of the National Blockchain Policy for Nigeria.

“In addition, in the approval today, it involves the establishment of a National Steering Council. That Council will bring together relevant institutions of government to work together and this effort is going to be coordinated by NITDA, which happens to be the regulatory body of information technology.”

On the benefits of the policy, Pantami said that Nigeria has become one of the very few countries in the work who have adopted the technology and can partake of the projected $1.76 trillion potential global GDP from it.

He said that with the adoption of the policy, Nigeria can protect the integrity of most of its critical sectors that are heavily reliant on information and data, including the economy, the education and security sectors, as well as the electoral system.

The Minister further stated: “There are so many opportunities in blockchain technology. A research conducted by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) predicted that by 2030, blockchain technology could be able to add $1.76tn USD to the global GDP.

“African countries were left out of the equation in first, second and third industrial revolutions. It is only in the fourth industrial revolution that we are not far away from the developed countries, it becomes necessary for us to be proactive. With this approval, we join the very few countries that have legalised and approved blockchain in their countries, like United Kingdom, Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, Georgia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates. These are the few countries, they are not many.

“So, now we have joined them and we are being proactive to ensure that with the policy, we will increase our talent development, also discover our young innovators, give them all the necessary support they need, as provided by Nigeria Startup Act 2022 and also ensure the adoption of the technology, particularly as we know blockchain technology ensures information integrity or data integrity.

“It is also applicable even for the Independent Electoral Commission, where you need to preserve the integrity of data and by the adoption of blockchain technology in the process, we will reach a situation where content or information or data at their disposal cannot be altered.

“So with this approval the blockchain and all its components and types had been approved in Nigeria and regulatory bodies are to immediately develop the regulatory instruments within the sector for effective implementation and adoption.

SourceTRUBUNE
Destiny Young
Destiny Young is a highly credentialed information technology professional with over 13 years of industry experience. An HND/BSc (Hons) Computer Science graduate. He holds a Master of Technology degree in Information Technology from the prestigious University of South Africa (UNISA). He is a Distinction-grade MBA alumnus of Nexford University, Washington, DC, where he also obtained a First-class MSc degree in Digital Transformation. He is currently pursuing MSc in Cybersecurity. His professional development direction is in Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation, and Business Intelligence. He is a member of the British Computer Society (BCS), the Chartered Institute of Administration of Nigeria (CIA), the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), etc.
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