Atiku Abubakar, a renowned Nigerian politician who was once the country's vice president, has stated that part of his new plans for the country if he eventually wins the 2019 presidential election is to create regulations that will make blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies thrive in the African region.
This stance was revealed in the policy document published by the Presidential candidate which explicitly stated, that his administration will “produce a comprehensive policy on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies”.
He also promised to improve the IT sector by establishing a ‘Technology Support Programme’ (TSP) that will be funded by a diaspora bond and also enhancing IT literacy initiatives from early school programmes to adult education.
Time For A Change?
Till date, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) or the current governmental administration has not done so much to support the growth of the country's blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem.
One of the major highlights of their dealing with the invention is a circular which the top bank issued to discourage citizens from trading cryptocurrencies and to compare it to ‘gambling’.
The new candidate is promising to shuffle things and potentially make Africa's most populous nations, one of the first in the continent to provide a regulatory framework for blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
As blockchain hub Malta has proved over time, a country has more to gain and only little to lose by choosing to regulate the emerging industry, rather than neglect or totally throw a blanket ban on it.
Atiku is currently vying for the position of the president with 50 other candidates interested.
However, given the popularity of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and People's Democratic Congress (PDP) in Nigeria, Atiku (PDP) is among the favourites to win the election alongside incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari (APC) is also contesting; for a second term in office.
Nigeria's Presidential election is due to take place in April 2019 while the winner will be sworn into power on May 29, 2019.