Nigeria Exploring Ways To Manage Risks, Groom Innovation in Blockchain Technology – Minister

Nigeria’s Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Pantami has said that the federal government is exploring ways of striking a balance between grooming innovation  and managing emerging risks in the country’s tech industry.

This, the minister said will be achieved through the development of regulatory measures.

The Minister said this while delivering a keynote address on the Applications of Blockchain Technology for Intellectual Property (IP) Enforcement at the American Business Council event.

Pantami was represented by Dr. Salihu Abdulkareem Arsh of the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR).

Pantami said that the country was taking into cognizance safety and the management of risks while working towards supporting the growth of its FinTech sector.

This, it aims to achieve by putting in the right regulatory frameworks and strategies.

To achieve this goal, Pantami said that the ministry has directed the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to introduce regulatory sandboxes that enable participants to test products and services on a small scale in a controlled environment.

This, he said will reduce innovation costs and barriers to entry.

“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, “In this regard, we directed NITDA to develop a national infrastructure for the deployment of Blockchain solutions that integrate identity and incentive platforms, promote research and development, in addition, to focus on the skilling of the workforce, and create a procurement
process to enable government agencies to adopt Blockchain solutions,” he said.

Speaking at the event, Pantami said that events such as this would avail regulators of the opportunity to obtain the input of players before coming up with regulations.

The Minister however pointed out that challenges such as “the interoperability of different Blockchain platforms, and legal issues such as data ownership, privacy, liability, and jurisdiction still pose a challenge to the Tech industry in the country.

Recall that last month, The Nigerian bourse, Nigeria Exchange Limited, announced plans to begin the use of blockchain technology for settling trade across its platform by 2023.

This, the exchange said was targeted at its increasing youth population, facilitating capital markets, and settling trades.

This is coming on the sideline of a partial ban on cryptocurrency in Nigeria, amidst growing acceptance of the emerging industry.

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