The Nigeria Federal Executive Council has given the nod to the National Policy on Blockchain formulated by the Federal Ministry of Communications & Digital Economy. This approval means that blockchain technology can now be officially used in the country. The government has established a steering committee led by the National Information and Technology Development Agency to oversee the implementation of this policy. The move has been welcomed by many Nigerians, who are excited about the potential of blockchain technology in the country.
The special assistant to the President on digital and new media, Tolu Ogunlesi, has stated that relevant agencies will work towards the development of suitable regulatory frameworks. However, the approved policy is not yet available to the public. Ogunlesi has promised that it will be provided soon.
The recent approval of the blockchain policy is part of a series of pro-crypto moves made by Africa’s most populous country. The Nigeria Securities and Exchange Commission has announced plans to support asset tokenization, while another government agency has discussed with Binance the possibility of establishing a virtual assets free trade zone in the country.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) had earlier prohibited financial institutions from providing their services for cryptocurrency-related transactions. However, the bank has yet to clarify its stance towards the crypto industry. Despite this, Nigeria is ranked amongst the top 20 countries in the world for crypto adoption by Chainalysis in its 2022 Global Crypto Adoption Index.
The new policy has raised questions about the legalization of cryptocurrency usage in the country. While there is no clarity on this yet, the blockchain policy approval is a significant milestone for Nigeria in embracing the technology’s many benefits.