The Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo in his speech at the 3rd edition of Nigeria Digital Economy Summit (NDES) in Abuja, themed “Web 3.0, Blockchain and DeFi: Impact of Africa’s Digital Economy”, emphasized on the importance of blockchain technology adoption for central banks around the world. He further expressed concern that if blockchain technology, which enables the safekeeping and seamless transmission of digital information is not integrated into the financial system it may cause major disruptions in central banking worldwide.
It was stressed that central banks throughout the world will need to reevaluate their functions in considering the fact that blockchain technology poses a challenge to the centralization of monetary power due to the inefficiencies central banking has caused. Given that the current central banking system may be in its last days, opportunities abound for novel approaches. Policy-wise, Nigeria has to further expand the scope of banking licenses to make room for more participants in the financial mediation value chain.
There is a need for more developmental transformation.
He claimed, it is indisputable that the existing old banking licenses are no longer viable and that unambiguous regulations must be developed to facilitate crypto markets and trading in other digital assets such as focusing more on taxes. In the past the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was only issuing one or two banking licenses, costing about N25 billion. However, in recent years the CBN has modified options and now offers multiple categories of banking licenses which has led to the rise of fintechs and unicorns that are able to operate with much lesser share capital.
These rational and developmental promotion policy transformation was inculcated as a result of the concerted effort by young men and women in the tech, and entertainment industry. Companies like Kuda, Flutterwave and Paystack each have their own unique license, although they all deal with finance in one way or another. Considering the new iteration of web3 there is a need to reform and develop other types of licenses that are way cheaper to allow more participants into the industry.
Blockchain, digital transformation is needed to promote change in Nigeria.
Mr. Lanre Osibona, founder and CEO of Foresight Group (a collaboration of three private companies; curator of NDES), emphasized in his opening statement that digital transformation is a significant catalyst for change in Nigeria. Osibona said, this kind of transformation is essential to fostering economic growth, democratic dividends and expanding civil society engagement that would ultimately lead to empower people and widespread prosperity. He urged for concerted efforts toward strategic action that will support the tech ecosystem and development of the digital economy of Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
It was stressed that central banks throughout as a catalyst for new technologies; the outbreak certainly prompted the widespread use and invention of cutting-edge technologies. Stating that it is crucial to attract, develop, encourage and keep top talent to create tech jobs for Nigeria youths. Recently, Blockchain is gaining traction around the agricultural sector for marketing, traceability, access and precision monitoring of crucial issues discovered in the food value chain from production to final production to promote development in the sector.
Stressing the need for and importance of the summit.
Ultimately, the vice president claimed that the annual summit is evidence showcasing the depth of the government and the private sector’s joint commitment and dedication to the rapid and value-driven digital economy development in Nigeria. He further commended the Foresight Group and other numerous local and foreign partners for putting together the summit and pulling up driving innovative conversations on how best to transform the country and its systems into the next phase of digital evolution.
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