Yesterday Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council adopted a National Blockchain Policy for Nigeria. A strategy document outlines a key driver being a desire to diversify the economy to reduce its dependence on the oil and gas sector. However, much of the focus is on the adoption of DLT by the public sector.
The announcement quotes a PwC figure that blockchain could boost the global economy by $1.76 trillion by 2030. Nigeria’s government hopes that public sector adoption will have a ripple effect in the private sector and result in new blockchain business models. It intends to provide incentive programs for SMEs and startups.
That’s one of six initiatives identified in the document, including creating a Nigeria Blockchain Consortium and developing a legal framework. It has already progressed on the blockchain literacy front. Last year the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) awarded 30,000 blockchain scholarships. NITDA will lead the implementation of the overall strategy.
A National Blockchain Sandbox is also planned that will include NITDA, the SEC and the central bank (CBN) as well other agencies such as the tax authorities (FIRS) and deposit insurance corporation (NDIC).
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) plans to support tokenization, focusing on real world assets such as equities, bonds and real estate, but not cryptocurrency.
The central bank blocked banks from interacting with crypto exchanges and other providers, suppressing Nigeria’s significant crypto adoption. Nigeria is one of the first countries to launch a central bank digital currency (CBDC), the eNaira.