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Nigeria adopts blockchain to fight certificate forgery in NYSC

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Home » Business » Nigeria adopts blockchain to fight certificate forgery in National Youth Service Corps

Nigeria plans to leverage blockchain technology to issue certificates to graduates of its National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), the country’s IT development head recently revealed.

Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, the Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), believes blockchain can help Nigeria tackle widespread forgery in issuing and retrieving certificates.

NYSC is a program set up by the Nigerian government to involve the youth in nation-building activities. University and polytechnic graduates are required to take part in the NYSC program for one year.

Speaking at a recent blockchain stakeholders forum, Kashifu revealed that the NYSC Director General approached his agency for assistance on the widespread forgery of the NYSC certificates. Together, the two agencies have settled on blockchain as the solution.

“We all know that NYSC is one area with a lot of forgery…we have agreed to help them develop a system so that all NYSC certificates will be on the blockchain.”

Forgeries have long plagued the NYSC. This incessant challenge was recently exposed after the agency claimed that Peter Mbah, a governorship candidate in the south-eastern state of Enugu, had forged his certificate. Mbah sued the agency and emerged victorious, blaming the NYSC for poor record-keeping.

In yet another NYSC scandal, it emerged that then-Nigerian Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun had forged her certificate. She was forced to resign in 2018 after a local newspaper’s investigative report outed her.

The NYSC has tried threats of jail terms and hefty fines to curb the vice, but in a country that ranks in the top 20% for corruption globally, the threats have not done much.

Blockchain technology could finally bring certificate forgery to an end in the West African nation. The BSV blockchain, with the lowest fees, stable protocol and massive scaling, is proven in this field, with applications including the University of Sharjah’s academic certificate verification and VXPASS’ COVID vaccination certificate program.

NITDA taps Domineum and nChain in its ambitious goals for Nigeria

Kashifu, who took up the helm of NITDA in 2019, told the attendees that he believes Nigeria can add over $40 billion to its economy through blockchain adoption. The country is the leader in Africa for digital asset ownership despite the crackdown by the central bank.

“We can use it to solve so many of our problems,” he noted.

To position the country to leverage blockchain, NITDA has embarked on an awareness and training campaign to impart blockchain skills to young Nigerians.

“We collaborated with Domineum to train 32,000 Nigerians on blockchain. Some of them have started businesses from what they have learned…we want people to get the knowledge and earn from it,” he noted.

NITDA has also partnered with enterprise blockchain solutions provider nChain to further the training initiative. Kashifu says this partnership targets 500,000 Nigerians. He added that certificates for this program will be issued on the blockchain.

Domineum co-founder Mohammed Jega was a speaker at the event, and in his panel discussion, he talked about some of the initiatives his company has undertaken in the country.

The best way to bring large enterprises and the government into blockchain is to demonstrate how your products solve their problems, Jega told aspiring entrepreneurs.

“You need to make them understand how your solution can help optimize their processes, increase efficiency, bring transparency, boost revenues,” he stated.

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