• Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMCDE) has approved the National Blockchain Policy.
• The policy is part of the country’s effort to create a blockchain-powered economy and move away from its reliance on oil and gas.
• The policy aligns with the 8 pillars of the ‘DIGITAL NIGERIA’ Roadmap of the FMCDE.
Nigeria’s National Blockchain Policy Greenlighted by Government
Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMCDE) has approved the National Blockchain Policy as part of its effort to create a blockchain-powered economy and move away from its reliance on oil and gas. The policy aligns with the 8 pillars of the ‘DIGITAL NIGERIA’ Roadmap of the FMCDE, which focuses on developmental regulation, digital literacy & skills, solid infrastructure, service delivery, open government data, digital financial services, cyber security & privacy, and emerging technologies such as AI & IoT.
The push towards blockchain adoption in Nigeria is part of its efforts to move away from its heavy economic reliance on the oil and gas sector and instead allow the economy to “leapfrog” into one driven by digital technologies. As such, the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy developed the National Blockchain Policy to diversify the economy on behalf of the federal government. This is in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), which was unveiled in November 2019.
The first draft of Nigeria’s National Blockchain Policy released in October 2020 outlined strategy for formal utilization of blockchain technology within both public and private sectors in Nigeria. It focuses on building an enabling environment for further development while keeping up with global best practices across various use cases that include but not limited to identity management & authentication; supply chain management; data collection & analytics; smart contracts & distributed applications; asset registry; KYC/AML compliance; digital payments & exchanges; tokenization etc.
The primary objective behind this policy is to ensure that all citizens benefit from these new opportunities while mitigating risks associated with them like money laundering activities etc., providing opportunities for local businesses to explore innovation opportunities through collaboration between industry players like banks or telcos etc., increasing access to capital through tokenization or Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) etc., encouraging start-ups around blockchain based applications or services etc., building trust among users by promoting transparency through distributed ledger technology etc., developing standards for interoperability between different systems using blockchain technology etc., exploring potentials for cross-border payments using stablecoins or other blockchains etc., growing knowledge base about blockchain technology through awareness campaigns targeted at developers or general public about implications/benefits/risks involved in using it etc., enabling government departments or ministries access rights pertaining their own jurisdictions when needed via permissioned blockchains etc., creating vibrant ecosystems around innovative applications built on top blockchains supported by investment funds or incubation centers dedicated exclusively towards this purpose etc.
This new policy will pave way for increasing adoption rate of distributed ledger technologies among Nigerian population while encouraging collaboration between public sector stakeholders like government ministries or private sector entities like banks or telcos engaging into projects related to Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). In turn it will help Nigeria drive digital transformation agenda forward helping nation make most out fintech innovations like alternative banking solutions enabled by DLT that are being created across globe today.