BusinessDay

FG to fast track development healthtech ecosystem for emerging economies

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has assured key industry players and indeed Nigerians of the Federal Government’s commitment to create and enforce regulations that will Fast-track effective utilisation of Blockchain technology for the development of the Nigerian digital economy.
Pantami said this while delivering a keynote address on the Applications of Blockchain Technology for Intellectual Property (IP) Enforcement at the American Business Council event, in partnership with the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The Minister who was represented by Salihu Abdulkareem Arsh of the National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (NCAIR), alluded to the fact that the theme of the event: “Blockchain for IP Enforcement; More than Crypto and NFTs” is apt and timely, especially at a time when cryptocurrency is presently the headlines of financial losses.
The Minister noted that in today’s knowledge-based economy, an increasing share of business value is derived via intangible assets, which means success often depends upon the ability to manage and exploit IP.
He stressed that for that reason, businesses require managers to effectively acquire, govern and commercialize copyright-and patent-protected content.
“You would all agree that traditional businesses that rely on IP-protected material are confronting internal and external factors that pose several key challenges. Internally, unsynchronized IT systems do not enable data to flow, creating friction to locate and comply with copyrights under control. Externally, firms are recently operating in more complex, and diverse business networks with the need to validate multiple IPs within a single transactions model,” he said.

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Prof. Pantami highlighted the benefits of Blockchain technology which he said represents a paradigm shift in how various companies protect their information exchange, adding that emerging technology provides a secure and fault-tolerant distributed ledger platform for transactions.
“No doubt, Blockchain technology has evolved greatly since the introduction of Bitcoin in 2008, the first decentralized peer-to-peer electronic cash system. Today, innovators in various fields are realizing the benefits of this great technology. From medicine to agriculture, finance to governance, education to transport and across the global supply chain; many sectors are looking for ways to integrate Blockchain into their infrastructures”, he added.
While observing that governments and businesses all over the world are realizing the powerful usability of Blockchain, Prof. Pantami affirmed that the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy as well as its parastatals are not left behind, as they are inclined to employ the statutory responsibility towards innovative technologies, to develop corresponding strategies for a healthy ICT ecosystem that encapsulate emerging technology such as Blockchain.
He said, “It may interest you to know that one of the agencies under my supervision, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), has developed a National Blockchain Adoption Strategy that seeks to facilitate effective utilisation of Blockchain technology for the development of the Nigerian digital economy. The strategy outlines the roadmap and schemes for the adoption of Blockchain technology by the government in its digital transformation agenda in a way that supports efficiency, transparency, and productivity”.

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