Nigeria's main opposition leader and former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, said the country will adopt blockchain and cryptocurrency technology if it is voted in power. In his program document, Abubakar has revealed plans to create a legal policy that, among other things, will see blockchain and cryptocurrency taught by primary school at the university.
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More than 50 candidates are competing to defeat Muhammadu Buhari, president of Nigeria, in the general elections scheduled for February. Abubakar is the main contender as a representative of the People's Democratic Party. The business magnate – owner of companies in sectors such as agriculture, logistics, media and the food and beverage industry – previously served as vice president of Olusegun Obasanjo's former government from 1999 to 2007.
In his political campaign paper, published on November 19, Abubakar promised to "produce a global politics on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies" if he was elected president of Africa's largest economy in the 2019 election. He revealed plans to build a knowledge-based economy based on information and communication technologies, including blockchain and digital resources. Abubakar emphasized that his government will improve literacy in these technologies by changing the school curriculum so that students can learn from primary school.
My mission is to ensure that Nigeria's economy is able to respond to the challenges of the 21st century knowledge economy while keeping the technological pace surprisingly dynamic.
The current Nigerian government has not particularly embraced cryptocurrencies. Godwin Emifiele, the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), compared the cryptocurrencies "to a game of chance". The authorities maintain this position despite the fact that Nigerians continue to flood into the digital currency space in search of cheaper and faster ways to send money abroad or receive it. They also used cryptocurrencies to protect themselves from inflation and losses related to the exchange of the naira, the local fiat unit. According to Citigroup, the Nigerians represent the third world share of bitcoins as a percentage of the gross domestic product, after Russia and New Zealand.
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However, the Nigerian government has launched an investigation into the pros and cons of adopting bitcoins as a means of payment. The startups of financial technology in the West African country have asked the CBN to provide legal guidelines for the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry. A lack of regulation is pushing investments out of Africa's largest economy to nations such as Rwanda and regions like Europe, while fomenting uncertainty, they say.
In his political document "Get Nigeria Working Again", Abubakar said: "The nations that will thrive are those that embrace a comprehensive and agile approach that infuses the influence of rapid technological progress in every area of governance and policy to address the problems of inadequate technological infrastructures, funding and poor database ".
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