The Nigerian government has given the green light to the National Blockchain Policy as part of efforts to diversify its economy away from its dependence on the oil and gas sector. The policy will pave the way for the formal utilization of blockchain technology, which has already seen significant crypto adoption in the country.
The Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy developed the National Blockchain Policy to align with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), unveiled by President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2019. The policy outlines the strategy to create a blockchain-powered economy that supports secure transactions, data sharing, and value exchange between people, businesses, and government.
Positive Effects on Public and Private Sectors
The government believes the implementation of the National Blockchain Policy will have a positive effect on both the public and private sectors in Nigeria. The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) will coordinate policy initiatives under the oversight of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. The authorities have also set up a multisectoral steering committee to monitor policy implementation.
The Federal Executive Council directed relevant regulatory bodies, including NITDA, Nigeria’s Central Bank, the National Universities Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Nigerian Communications Commission to develop regulatory structures for blockchain implementation across various sectors of the economy.
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission plans to support tokenization, mainly focusing on real-world assets such as equities, bonds, and real estate. Cryptocurrency, however, is not on the roadmap.
Nigeria’s Crypto Adoption
Nigeria was ranked 11th on the Chainalysis 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index and 17th for peer-to-peer exchange trade volume. The country has witnessed a cash shortage that led to violent protests earlier this year, leaving countless citizens injured and a few dead. Nigerians have flocked to cryptocurrencies to hedge against current inflation and dodge the various limitations on naira transactions in online payments.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), blockchain technology, one of the world’s fastest developing technologies, could boost the global economy with $1.76 trillion by 2030. The economists at the finance giant expect the majority of businesses to be leveraging blockchain by 2025, with blockchain’s GDP estimated to reach $422 billion.