The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami, has inaugurated the National Committee on the implementation of the National Blockchain Policy for Nigeria.
The membership of the Committee is drawn from 29 institutions across the public and private sectors, including the academia.
During the ceremony which took place on Tuesday, in Abuja, 32,022 Nigerians graduated from the Blockchain Technology training organised by the Federal Government to equip citizens with the requisite skills required to drive the policy.
The President, Major General (Retd) Muhammadu Buhari, had on May 3, approved the Blockchain policy and directed all relevant regulatory bodies – including – the National Information Technology Development Agency, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the National Universities Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Nigerian Communications Commission – to develop regulatory instruments for the deployment of blockchain technology across the various sectors of the economy.
The National Blockchain Policy is developed to serve as a roadmap for Nigeria’s adoption and utilisation of emerging technology.
Pantami while inaugurating the committee explained that, “the Blockchain policy remains one of the emerging technologies at achieving the desired progress in the seventh pillar of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria, which is a ‘Digital Society & Emerging Technologies’,
He added, “In order to implement the seventh pillar, we had to develop other policies, including Policy on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics which brought about the establishment of the first ever National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR) in Africa, sited here in Abuja.
“Also, in our efforts to implement the policy, particularly, pillar number seven, we developed the National Blockchain Policy for Nigeria,” Pantami explained.
The minister who also stressed the importance of technology to the nation’s digital economy drive, noted that the fourth industrial revolution is comparatively the one that has not relegated the African Continent to the background, especially as African Nations, particularly Nigeria, are actively participating in the revolution which he informed is an extension of the third revolution.
The minister maintained, “Blockchain Technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, Cloud & Quantum Computing, Virtual & Augmented Reality, Autonomous Vehicle, Biotechnology, 5G, and Cyber Security, are all disruptive technologies brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and Nigeria is one of the, at least three countries in Africa, that are actively involved in the 4th Industrial Revolution.
“The successful implementation of the policy, which lays out a comprehensive framework for integrating the technology into various facets of the economy, will ensure the growth of indigenous talent in Blockchain Technology solution development leading to a robust and globally competitive ecosystem, effectively address core issues including governance, security, interoperability, regulatory compliance, accountability and transparency.
“It will boost innovation, improve government services, create job opportunities, drive economic growth, enhance public trust in governance and promote citizen engagement among others,” he noted.
The National Policy on Blockchain Technology for Nigeria, brings to 21, the number of policies initiated, developed, and in various stages of implementation under the watch of Pantami.