How NITDA wants to drive blockchain adoption in Nigeria

The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has launched its 2022 Blockchain Scholarship Scheme to train 30,000 Nigerians.

How NITDA wants to drive blockchain adoption in Nigeria
NITDA's Director-General, Kashifu Inuwa

In 2020, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) stated that through its National Blockchain Adoption, Nigeria plans to capture a market share of about $10 billion through blockchain technology by 2025.

A draft of the strategy which was released in October 2020 stated that blockchain and decentralized ledger technology (DLT) would "facilitate the development of the Nigerian digital economy".

Citing a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which predicted that blockchain technology — through its wide range of use cases — would potentially add $1.76 trillion to the global gross domestic product in the next 7 years, making it 1.4% of the global GDP in 2030. NITDA's Director-General, Kashifu Inuwa stated that Nigeria could incorporate the technology through its provincial services, payment services, digital identity, customer engagement, and contract and dispute resolution applications.

NITDA's blockchain adoption strategy is built on six initiatives:

  • Establishment of Nigeria Blockchain Consortium.
  • Strengthening of the Regulatory and legal framework.
  • Focus on the provision of National Digital Identity.
  • Promotion of Blockchain digital literacy and awareness.
  • Creation of Blockchain business incentive programmes.
  • Establishment of a national blockchain sandbox for proof of concepts and pilot implementation

Credit: NITDA

Starting with human capacity development and digital literacy, NITDA in collaboration with Domineum Blockchain Solutions has launched a Blockchain Scholarship, 2022 Scheme, aimed at training 30,000 Nigerians on blockchain technology to develop career skillsets in emerging technologies.

The programme will be delivered through a hybrid mode (virtual and physical meetups) in all the states of the Federation.

Outstanding teams in the project phase stand the opportunity to join an incubation program in London while others will be exposed to the BSV Ecosystem where they can be involved with various projects.

"The scholarship is open to every Nigerian that is willing to put in a minimum of 20 hours per week, has access to a laptop, shows commitment and determination; no prior programming experience is required," the agency said in a statement seen by

Application for the scholarship is ongoing and will end by November 28, 2022.

In September 2022, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) disclosed that it is in talks with Binance aimed at establishing a digital economic zone that will help entrepreneurs fast-track blockchain technology in the West African nation.

The partnership aims to build a digital hub that is similar to the Dubai virtual free, the report disclosed. Free trade zones attract zero per cent tax rates, preferential customs duty rates and 100% import and export tax exemption that helps improve international businesses.

"Our goal is to engender a flourishing virtual free zone to take advantage of a near trillion dollar virtual economy in blockchains and digital economy," Adesoji Adesugba, NEPZA's managing director said. ex-Flutterwave and Andela CEO, Iyin Aboyeji's latest initiative, Talent City is also involved in the partnership.

Another time the Nigerian government indicated its willingness to adopt blockchain technology was in 2021 when the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) used a Hyperledger Fabric Blockchain to power the nation's digital currency—eNaira.

The Hyperledger Fabric is one of many blockchain networks designed to store cryptos and record transactions. The difference is, it is a private ledger that can only be accessed by authorised users.

Despite these developments, transactions with cryptocurrency are still banned in Nigeria following an instruction by the CBN. However, Nigeria's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said that entities that intend to offer crypto-related services or products in Nigeria must secure a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) licence.

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