Nigeria Embraces Blockchain Technology with National Policy Approval


The Nigerian government has taken a significant step forward in embracing the potential of blockchain technology by approving the national policy on blockchain. This strategic move aims to establish a regulatory framework to govern the adoption and implementation of blockchain technology across various sectors in the country.

Nigeria’s Growing Interest in Cryptocurrencies and Blockchain Technology

As one of the world’s most curious nations regarding cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council gave the green light to a national blockchain policy during its meeting on May 3, 2023. The approval followed a memo presented by Isa Ali Ibrahim, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy.

In its announcement, the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy (FMCDE) referenced a PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report. The report forecasts that the widespread adoption of blockchain technology could contribute $1.76 trillion to the global gross domestic product by 2030, representing 1.4% of the world’s GDP.

Developing the National Blockchain Policy through Stakeholder Consultations

The FMCDE formulated the national blockchain policy through comprehensive consultations with public and private stakeholders. The policy aligns with the seventh pillar of the national digital economy policy and strategy, which emphasizes digital society and emerging technologies.

According to a draft of the blockchain adoption strategy released in October 2020, blockchain and decentralized ledger technology are poised to “facilitate the development of the Nigerian digital economy.” The policy’s primary goal is to establish a blockchain-based economy that enables secure transactions, data sharing, and value exchange among individuals, businesses, and the government. The implementation of the policy is anticipated to have a positive impact on the public and private sectors in Nigeria.

The NITDA will be tasked with coordinating the policy initiatives under the supervision of the FMCDE. In addition, a multisectoral steering committee has also been established to oversee the policy implementation.

Regulatory Bodies to Develop Frameworks for Blockchain Implementation

The Federal Executive Council has directed relevant regulatory bodies, including NITDA, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the National Universities Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Nigerian Communications Commission, to create regulatory frameworks for implementing blockchain technology in different sectors of the economy.

The strategy for blockchain adoption encompasses several initiatives, such as establishing a consortium for blockchain in Nigeria. That also includes reinforcing the regulatory and legal framework, promoting digital identity, developing blockchain business incentive programs, fostering digital literacy and awareness of blockchain technology, and setting up a national blockchain sandbox for testing and piloting.

Despite the approval of the new national blockchain policy, transactions involving cryptocurrencies continue to be illegal in the country.

In conclusion, Nigeria’s national policy on blockchain demonstrates the government’s commitment to fostering a digital economy and embracing emerging technologies. Furthermore, by establishing a regulatory framework for blockchain technology, Nigeria is positioning itself as a leader in the global digital landscape.

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