Blockchain technology has always been a contentious issue in Nigeria, with government dilly dallying on it. This has left industry watchers and technology stakeholders confused. At a point, the government seems to be averse to the technology been deployed in some sectors. The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has cleared the air on blockchain technology and the Director General of NITDA, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami has hinted the likelihood of deploying this in financial sector. This is in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) standing on blockchain technology.
This he made in a forum at the on-going Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) . In his words “We are working on a framework for the adoption of Blockchain Technologies in the financial sector of Nigeria, taking into account our peculiar challenges.”
This disclosure was made during his presentation on ‘Living in a Blockchain Powered World’, at the Vertical day Conference, part of activities at the 38th Edition of the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition week holding in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The need to deploy this technology is getting more imperative, as the world tilts towards blockchain technology, this decision by the foremost technology clearing house, NITDA has been lauded and commended by technology enthusiasts.
In a high powered discussion which saw blockchain experts around the globe discussing on the importance of blockchain in various sectors. As it stands now, crypto currencies is likely to be legalised in Nigeria, this is coming at a time the Apex bank has warned on its use. This singular statement by the NITDA boss would usher in an era of “blockchain economy”. The blockchain economy is a scenario and potential future environment in which crypto currency replaces current monetary systems, potentially on a global basis, this scenario would re-evaluate the role of Central Bank in the country. As of 2017, The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sequel to setting up of an industry committee to look into and articulate a road map for Blockchain & Cryptocurrency regulation has reiterated that it will not hinder the use of digital currencies in Nigeria.
Among those that discussed on blockchain technology at GITEX panel were Kris Bennett, Blockchain Influencer, Kristo Vaheer, CTO Estonia and Ulyssess Ron Vinson, Chief Smart Communities Officer, USA.The highlight of the day was the Keynote address on ‘Reinventing the Internet’, delivered by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Inventor of the World Wide Web (WWW).
Anthony Emeka Nwosu