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Nigeria takes bold step in blockchain technology with ‘Nigerium’ initiative

Nigeria takes bold step in blockchain technology with ‘Nigerium’ initiative
The Nigerian Government has revealed that the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is working on a locally-made blockchain, dubbed ‘Nigerium’, to secure national data and ensure security .



This comes after ongoing concerns about its commitment to technologies like Ethereum, primarily because blockchain technology is popular and mostly owned by foreigners who may not have interests that align with Nigeria’s best interests.



The Director General of NITDA, Kashifu Abdullahi, discussed the initiative when delegates from the University of Hertfordshire Law School visited him in Abuja. According to Abdullahi, the ‘Nigerium’ project will be a product of shared interests between the private and public sectors. The SEC director noted the need for a blockchain entirely under Nigeria’s control – to keep all its data within the country and scale up its local footprint as a leader amid fierce global competition from countries betting big on technology.



The concept for ‘Nigerium’ originated from a proposal by the University of Hertfordshire Law School delegation, led by Chanu Kuppuswamy. The case they presented highlighted the advantages of developing local blockchains that are tailored to meet Nigeria’s unique requirements and work in accordance with national laws and regulations.



The rationale behind developing an indigenous blockchain is multifaceted. This initiative first addresses the risks associated with foreign control of blockchain technologies, including potential economic and national security threats from losing control over data sovereignty. By developing its own blockchain, Nigeria aims to mitigate these risks and establish a platform that prioritises its interests and adheres to its regulatory framework.



An Indigenous blockchain offers several advantages:




Customisation: The technology can be tailored to meet Nigeria’s unique requirements, ensuring alignment with national laws and regulations.



Data control: By managing its own blockchain, Nigeria can better safeguard sensitive information and prevent unauthorised access or manipulation by foreign entities.



Enhanced security: The development of ‘Nigerium’ is expected to significantly impact national security by improving cyber defence capabilities and protecting critical infrastructure from cyber threats.



Transparency and accountability: The blockchain’s inherent features will improve data integrity and reduce the risk of data breaches and fraud.



Economic growth: A secure and efficient blockchain can facilitate trusted transactions, promoting confidence in Nigeria’s digital economy.




Reducing the negative impact of ‘Nigerium’ is likely to be successful only if it involves a good level of joint ownership between the private and public sectors. This collaboration also marks the first step for NITDA with the University of Hertfordshire Law School and is a significant move in that direction. Nigeria seeks to join the bandwagon of countries with robust blockchain infrastructure and is using both sectors to do so.



In the future, if successful, ‘Nigerium’ could position Nigeria at the forefront of blockchain technology in Africa. Nigeria can establish a digitally secure and prosperous economic future by better controlling its tech destiny. By developing a homegrown blockchain, this initiative will improve national security, encourage innovation, and stimulate the country’s economy.



This is why NITDA’s strategy to develop ‘Nigerium’ is an excellent example of the way forward in Nigerian technological autonomy and national improvement. Consequently, by establishing ‘law-abiding standards’ and local-friendly governance frameworks, Nigeria is marching towards securing its preparedness to retain data sovereignty in these challenging environments. Will ‘Nigerium’ change Nigeria’s digital landscape and influence its position on the global tech spectrum as it unfolds?



(Image by Chickenonline )







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The post Nigeria takes bold step in blockchain technology with ‘Nigerium’ initiative appeared first on The Block .

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