The blockchain digital revolution is driving the emergence of digital transparency and integrity, which will result in significant changes in business models and government functions.
The Director General/Chief Executive Officer of, the National Information Technology Development Agency, Kashifu Inuwa made this known on Wednesday, 26th October 2022 when making his keynote speech at Digital Nigeria International Conference 2022, Blockchain Summit Day.
He said that it will facilitate the development of the Nigerian digital economy by supporting the digital transformation agenda in a way that promotes efficiency, transparency, and productivity.
The statement reads, “Innovators in various fields are maximizing the benefits of this incredible technology; from medicine to agriculture, finance to governance, education to transport, and across the global supply chain. Innovators are exploring ways to use blockchain technologies to disrupt and transform traditional process models. With its decentralized and trustless nature, Blockchain technology can lead to new opportunities and benefits industries through greater transparency, enhanced security, and easier traceability.
“Governments and businesses all over the world have begun to utilize the robust potential usability of Blockchain. NITDA is not left behind; we are inclined to employ our statutory responsibility towards innovative technologies to develop strategies for a healthy IT ecosystem that encapsulate emerging technology such as Blockchain. At NITDA, we developed a Blockchain Adoption Strategy to facilitate the effective utilization of Blockchain technology towards creating a digital economy. The strategy outlines the roadmap and schemes for the adoption of Blockchain technology by the government in the digital transformation agenda; in a way that supports efficiency, transparency, and productivity.
“As this technology drives new business and service models, NITDA realizes the need to deepen the adoption of this strategy to protect citizens and ensure fair markets while letting innovation and business flourish. As such, we are interested in fostering the healthy growth and safety of the nation’s digital economy through the right implementation strategy that would drive the adoption of the technology by both the public and private sectors. We are currently piloting the implementation blueprint in two federal government sectors and building a proof of concept (POC) on the implementation of the National Blockchain strategies.
“In this regard, the Agency is creating a national infrastructure for the deployment of blockchain solutions in a government institution that integrates identity and incentive platforms, promotes research and development, in addition, focus on the skilling of the workforce, and create a procurement process to enable government agencies to adopt blockchain solutions.
“In the same vein, the Agency is taking steps to replicate and implement regulatory soundboxes that have been adopted by countries like the United Kingdom, India, Australia, Canada, and Denmark. Regulatory sandboxes will enable participants to test products and services on a small scale in a controlled environment, reducing innovation costs and barriers to entry. It also allows regulators to collect important information about innovative products before deciding which regulatory action to take. With this, Nigeria’s regulatory sandbox will facilitate the necessary dialogue between market participants and regulators to develop regulatory actions that strike the right balance between fostering innovation and mitigating new risks.
“Through sustained engagement with stakeholders like you and many others, implementation of these regulatory guidelines would be enhanced and, in turn, would engender a conducive regulatory environment for all players in the digital economy to thrive and fulfill their potential for prosperity and national development.
“NITDA believes that our youth must be trained and given the prerequisite skills to participate in the knowledge economy and create wealth for themselves and our nation. We opened APP-LAB Young Innovators Fellowship Program, which seeks to identify, mentor and train young Nigerians for free in Emerging Technology skills and match them with industry practitioners. To produce a team of developers who will become Technology Entrepreneurs for themselves and other companies in the nearest future. Thus, creating futuristic businesses and jobs in the IT Sector.
“We also initiated a start-up voucher programme to support viable business ideas for incubation in any technology hubs of their choice across Nigeria. In 2022 the Agency also launched iHatch Programme, which was designed to refine Nigerian entrepreneurs’ business models through mentoring, lectures, and boot camps, and enable the creation of viable and scalable business models, hence, the result of an innovation-driven enterprise (IDEs). The overall goal of iHatch is to establish companies that are legally Incorporated under (CAC) by young Nigerians, produce minimum viable products (MVP) of their innovative ideas, establish the connection between start-ups and investors, enable NITDA to analyze the start-up ecosystem and take necessary actions to improve the ecosystem through government actions and incentives.
“We are also currently working on a “Talent Gap Assessment” project. We believe talent is the people side of technology. In Africa, we cannot compete with the rest of the world in terms of hardware and any technology infrastructure, but when it comes to talent, we have a competitive edge over the rest of the world. We are interested in building talents because it’s one of the significant global challenges. NITDA is already working on the National Talent Strategy; training 1 million developers in the next 18 months. We are also set to train world-class Blockchain developers with global standards.
“As Nigeria moves to harness the potential of its digital economy through co-created regulations and provide enabling environment for growth, attraction, and protection of investment in the sector, the recently passed Nigeria Startup Bill by National Assembly will help institutionalize legal frameworks that will enhance the development of start-ups easily, quickly and conveniently in the country.
“You would all agree that collaboration catalyzes economic growth, wealth creation, and sustainable digital development. We shall be hosting Blockchain Technology Summit as part of Digital Nigeria 2022, bringing together Blockchain Technology enthusiasts from across the world with key decision makers in governments and private sectors, all under one roof! I invite you to the International Conference Center – Abuja on 26th October 2022; as we seek to democratize Blockchain technology adoption across all sectors of the economy.
“Digital transformation provides developing economies new opportunities to improve industrial age infrastructure, draw on the vast knowledge spill-overs from the internet, take advantage of new markets offered by digital platforms and exploit production possibilities enabled by digital technologies. We seek the support of all of you gathered here today and the entire blockchain community to reap the full benefits of this technology to promote innovations, grow businesses, create jobs, and entrench security, reliability, and transparency in process models across all verticals of our nation.