The Director General National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Kashifu Inuwa says the adoption of Blockchain technology by the government in governance will help the government to be more accountable and transparent to the citizens.
Inuwa was speaking at a two-day summit on Blockchain technology in Abuja, Nigeria, organised by the Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria (SiBAN), to create awareness and seek government regulation of the adoption and use of the technology in Nigeria.
The NITDA Boss said Nigeria recognizes the potential for blockchain technology to enhance transparency in government, improve service delivery, and foster innovation in various sectors.
“With its inherent principles of transparency, security, and decentralisation, blockchain has emerged as a disruptive force that has the potential to revolutionise industries ranging from finance and healthcare to supply chain management and governance.
“It is not merely a technology but a catalyst for trust, accountability, and empowerment,” he said.
He pledged the Agency’s support for the association and continued technology development in Nigeria
“The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is fully committed to supporting and nurturing the growth of the blockchain and digital assets ecosystem in Nigeria.
“Moreover, we acknowledge the importance of providing a regulatory framework that ensures the responsible and safe use of digital assets within our financial system,” he added.
The President of SiBAN, Obinna Iwuno said: “This summit aims to expand and open up our country and of course of economy to the potentials and the benefits of digital assets as it is happening globally.
“So it holds massive opportunities and potentials for us as a country and as an economy and would help to position us in the technology sector.
“We need policies and regulations to grow the industry. We cannot get these things as private individuals, we have to go through the right channels and structures of the society. That is why we need the policymakers and regulators on board.“
He applauded the government for its active involvement in the project,
“Nigeria currently, has a national Blockchain policy and we are the first country in Africa to have a Blockchain policy and the ninth country in the world to have such. So it is going on well.
“What we are doing in the blockchain industry and at SIBAN is simplifying the language of communication of Blockchain education and awareness so that we can bring it down to the mainstream.
“We are also working with solutions by innovators of Blockchain builders to simplify the kind of blockchain allocations that they are building. So that it is easy for even the uneducated persons to use.
“So, this way, we can drive adoption because one of the purposes in the National block chain policy is for mainstream adoption in both the private and the public sector.”
According to Iwuno, some of the challenges to Blockchain technology adoption are: Lack of awareness, education, low internet penetration, and most people do not even have access to a functional smartphone.
On the sidelines, the Chairman of SiBAN, Chukwuemeka Ezike , said the summit is to create awareness of blockchain technology in Nigeria and to also seek government investment in the development and acquisition of technological skills.
“The essence of this summit is for sensitization on the benefits of tr. That there is more to technology and emerging technologies that the youths can take advantage of.
“To engage in productive endeavours like blockchain and use it to advance social change and solve social challenges
“So, we believe that the impact of this summit is to ignite passion in the hearts of the youth to use it to develop their nation.
“Make technical skills more accessible and with the support of our partners both private and public sector we hope to sustain this project,“he added.