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REGULATION | According to the Director-General of NITDA, Nigeria is building its own blockchain, called “Nigerium,” to protect national security.

In order to protect national security, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) will create the native blockchain known as “Nigerium,” according to NITDA Director-General Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi. In addition to stating that the ultimate objective is to get the public and commercial sectors together to establish a local blockchain, Abdullahi made this statement while welcoming a delegation from the University of Hertfordshire Law School to Abuja.

An indigenous blockchain, according to the University of Hertfordshire Law School, would guarantee that personal data and Nigerian data stay under local control instead of being handled by foreign co-developers who might not put Nigeria’s interests first. Furthermore, they stated that Nigeria is left to the whim of foreign developers who are not bound by Nigerian legislation if the country relies on well-known blockchain systems like Ethereum. It’s important to remember that, in 2021, Nigeria became the first nation in Africa to launch the eNaira, a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), utilising a private blockchain built on the Hyperledger Fabric.

This statement comes soon after NITDA recently declared that it intends to establish blockchain and other cutting-edge technology research centres in Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones. It also comes once a national blockchain policy is approved in 2023.

The goal of the policy is to establish a blockchain-powered economy that facilitates safe transactions, data sharing, and value exchanges between individuals, organisations, and the government; this will boost growth, prosperity, innovation, and trust among all parties involved. Authorities believe that blockchain technology has the ability to completely transform a wide range of industries, including supply chain management, transportation, healthcare, and banking. Enhancing the transparency, reliability, and efficiency of transactions leads to significant cost savings and improved customer experiences.

In addition, the government believes that blockchain technology has the potential to stimulate economic growth, advance innovation, enhance public services, and generate job opportunities.

Under the direction and coordination of the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, NITDA continuously supervises, monitors, assesses, and verifies progress in an effort to guarantee that the IT policy’s implementation goes as effectively as possible. One of NITDA’s responsibilities is to carry out the National IT policy and put the National Information Technology Development Agency Act (NITDA Act) of 2007’s provisions into practice.

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