Isa Pantami, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, has supported adopting blockchain technology to grow Nigeria’s economy.
Mr Pantami threw his weight behind the technology at the ninth edition of the Digital Africa Conference and Exhibition on Monday.
Though President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime and the CBN are hesitant to adopt cryptocurrency, Mr Pantami asserted that blockchain “enables banks to perform faster and at a lower cost,” including guaranteeing “real-time transactions across borders,” reducing “risks existing from currency fluctuations.”
“Blockchain is a promising and revolutionary technology because it helps reduce risk, stamps out fraud and brings transparency in a scalable way for myriad uses,” said Mr Pantami.
He added, “Blockchain technology being a technological innovation is regarded as one of the primary drivers of long-term economic development.”
The communications minister pointed out that “these technologies” offered a chance to unlock “new pathways for rapid economic growth, innovation, job creation and access to services which would have been unimaginable only a decade ago.”
He described the African digital economy as one of the largest overlooked investment opportunities of the past decade, stating that “digital entrepreneurship has the potential to become an engine of economic transformation in Nigeria.”
The rise in cryptocurrencies and digital wallets has moved banks and other financial institutions to adapt as the open-sourced nature of blockchain technology allows multiple users to access the updated public ledger without any probability of alteration in transactions.
Countries like Tanzania and El Salvador have moved to adopt and formally acknowledge digital assets and trade. However, in Nigeria, the CBN banned Nigerians from buying and selling cryptocurrencies.
Yet, Mr Pantami stated, “Technologies such as internet of things (IoT), robotics, 3D printing, blockchain, and artificial intelligence have the potential to act as impact amplifiers, challenging traditional approaches of going about ‘age-old problems’ in sectors such as agriculture, financial services, healthcare, education, water, and energy.”
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