The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), has reinforced the need to position Nigeria strategically to leverage on blockchain technology for rapid economic growth, safer digital transactions, and improved cross border trade.
Mrs Toki Mabogunje, President, LCCI, gave the advice at a webinar with the theme: “Unlocking the Opportunities of Block Chain Technology” on Wednesday in Lagos.
Blockchain is an encrypted list of records distributed across multiple computer systems and stored in groups called blocks that are chronologically ordered and linked together.
Mabogunje noted that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), proposed digital currency, e-Naira built on blockchain, would create employment for the teeming youth, financial inclusion, faster and safer digital transactions, and reduced transaction risks.
She noted that the webinar was organised to deepen awareness among stakeholders about the benefits of adoption of blockchain innovations to drive business, as well as regulatory and governance processes.
“Nigeria’s participation in the blockchain technology global market, especially in cryptocurrencies, has been recognised.
“According to Chainalysis (the blockchain data platform), Nigeria has the 8th highest crypto adoption in the world and generally, blockchain could potentially contribute up to USD $29 billion to Nigeria’s GDP by 2030.
“Unlocking these inherent potentials, requires a level-playing field for all participants in both private and public sectors by eliminating entry barriers.
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“This does not, however, imply total liberalisation or allowing self-rule to regulate the Nigeria blockchain ecosystem,” she said.
She advised that regulation of blockchain technology should be dynamic, robust, responsive, globally competitive and fit for the Nigerian context.
“This will give fillip to the tech savvy youth to innovate, spur confidence of tech investors, and attract significant investments in the blockchain ecosystem,” she said.
Chief Executive Officer, Appzone Switch, Mr Uche Elendu, said that blockchain technology provided trust without human intermediaries, and auto execute contracts transparently.
Elendu listed the features of blockchain technology to include enhanced security, data immutability, transparency, privacy; and allowed peer to peer transactions without intermediary.
He called for massive stakeholder education and sensitisation, and the creation of platforms for traditional veterans to collaborate with tech entrepreneurs to unlock the value in the technology.
“Blockchain has governance and regulatory framework which ensures that security audits would be done on smart contracts to verify that their logic is in line with rules of business network.
“It is safe and secured, and is one of the biggest opportunities we can think of in the next decades.
“The proper implementation of blockchain technology would enable the cashless economy that the country has been trying to achieve,” he said.
Mr Ernest Mbenkum, Founder, Bantu Blockchain Foundation, charged entrepreneurs to embrace blockchain technology, particularly, the African development model, “Bantu for improved global payment and trade.”
Mbenkum revealed that the Bantu blockchain was designed to quickly and securely transfer, swap, and trade digital assets globally and at almost zero cost.
He noted that blockchain technology opportunities for Africa would dramatically increase local production and exports via asset tokenisation and reduce dependence on imports.
He said that another opportunity for Africa was in the need for an open, secure and transparent Africa led global infrastructure to unlock unlimited liquidity via resources and asset tokenisation and real time value transfer.
“Bantu is enabling a pan-African market infrastructure that unifies the secure issuance, trading, settlement, clearing and custody of digital assets in all their manifestation and mutations in real time.
“This will unlock the capital trapped in the informal sectors of the economy which will positively impact the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the continent.
“With Bantu, we can tokenise agricultural commodities, infrastructure, raw materials, real estate and we need to support it to grow our own ecosystem,” he said.