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Nigeria Plans Indigenous Blockchain ‘Nigerium’ To Promote National Security

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has stated its plan to develop an indigenous blockchain ‘Nigerium' to protect the country's data and promote national security.

The move was prompted by the revelation that most popular blockchain technologies like Ethereum were being controlled by foreign developers who may not prioritise the country's interests.

NITDA's Director General, Kashifu Abdullahi, announced this while receiving delegates from the University of Hertfordshire Law School in Abuja, saying that the proposed project was going to get the private sector working together with the public sector to develop the homegrown blockchain.

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Abdullahi affirmed that the proposed blockchain would improve national security and the safety of citizens' data, emphasising the importance of developing an indigenous blockchain as it would help Nigeria have full control over its data and positions.

The idea for the ‘Nigerium project', a homegrown blockchain for Nigeria, was initially proposed and presented by a delegation from the University of Hertfordshire Law School, led by Chanu Kuppuswamy.

Kuppuswamy argued that developing a homegrown blockchain for Nigeria would allow Nigeria to customise the technology according to its needs and make sure that it aligns with the country's laws and regulations.

Kuppuswamy also warned about the potential risks of relying on foreign-made blockchains, citing an example of when Ethereum recently made steep changes to its blockchain without consultation with its users.

She noted that if Nigeria adopts a foreign blockchain, it would be difficult for the country to stamp its influence on key decisions surrounding the blockchain.

The delegation also suggested that Nigeria set up a Data Embassy which will comprise a server hosted in a third-party country that would provide digital continuity and shield the country's data from adverse events like natural disasters, cyber-attacks, and other threats.

The delegation finally suggested Nigeria look into harmonising blockchain technology across government agencies to promote interoperability and interdependence.


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