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LCCI, experts urge collaboration to tap $29bn opportunities in blockchain

Better collaboration between the private sector and regulators can help Nigeria tap a $29 billion opportunity in blockchain, according to experts and officials at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).

The experts who were speaking at a webinar organised by LCCI, acknowledged the growing adoption of blockchain technology by the rest of the world and urged Nigeria not to be left behind.

Nigeria has the 8th highest crypto adoption in the world and generally, blockchain could potentially contribute up to US$29 billion to Nigeria’s GDP by 2030. In recognition of these latent potentials, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has developed a National Blockchain Adoption Strategy, that provides the national framework for the promotion and management of blockchain technologies in Nigeria.

Toki Mabogunje, President, LCCI said the blockchain provides one of the most secure and safe online transactions which has disrupted and at the same time transform many economic sectors and industries. Industries adopting the technology are in the medical, healthcare, manufacturing, finance, transportation and logistics, media and entertainment hospitality, trade, ecommerce, and government. It is also estimated that blockchain technology has been adopted by more than one-third of the companies in the world and demand for developers and service providers is increasing continually.

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“Blockchain technology has emerged as one of the major innovations of the 21st century. It has witnessed dynamic adoption and become a transformative force in multiple aspects of public and private sector operations,” Mabogunje said. “This potential has been recognised globally, with a variety of international organisations and technology companies emphasising the benefits of its applications in reducing costs of operation as well as improving the efficiency and security of businesses processes.”

While Nigeria’s participation in the blockchain market globally, especially in cryptocurrencies, has been markedly recognised, Mabogunje says unlocking the opportunities in the market requires creating a level playing field for all participants in both private and public sectors by eliminating entry barriers. Regulators do not have to lose control or allow total liberalisation.

This is mostly behind the restrictions placed on cryptocurrency trading in Nigeria by the Central Bank of Nigeria and the plan to launch a Central Bank Digital Currency by October 1.

Uche Elendu, Chief Executive Officer, Appzone Switch, said blockchain provides trust without human intermediaries, and auto-executes contracts transparently. Features of the blockchain include enhance security, data immutability, transparency and privacy and allowed peer-to-peer transactions without an intermediary.

Elendu said there is a need for stakeholders’ education and sensitisation and the creation of platforms for traditional veterans to collaborate with tech entrepreneurs to unlock the value in the technology.

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