LCCI reinforces need for Nigeria to leverage blockchain technology

LCCI reinforces need for Nigeria to leverage blockchain technology
Written by Maritime First

…As Import index grows by 1.07% between April and June — NBS***

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has reinforced the need to position Nigeria strategically to leverage on blockchain technology for rapid economic growth, safer digital transactions, and improved cross border trade.

Mrs Toki Mabogunje, President, LCCI, gave the advice at a webinar with the theme: “Unlocking the Opportunities of Block Chain Technology” on Wednesday in Lagos.

The newsmen report that blockchain is an encrypted list of records distributed across multiple computer systems and stored in groups called blocks that are chronologically ordered and linked together.

Mabogunje noted that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) proposed digital currency, e-Naira built on blockchain,  would create employment for the teeming youth, financial inclusion, faster and safer digital transactions, and reduced transaction risks.

She noted that the webinar was organised to deepen awareness among stakeholders about the benefits of adoption of blockchain innovations to drive business, as well as regulatory and governance processes.

“Nigeria’s participation in the blockchain technology global market, especially in cryptocurrencies, has been recognised.

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“According to Chainalysis (the blockchain data platform), 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.

“Unlocking these inherent potentials, requires a level-playing field for all participants in both private and public sectors by eliminating entry barriers.

“This does not, however, imply total liberalisation or allowing self-rule to regulate the Nigeria blockchain ecosystem,” she said.

She advised that regulation of blockchain should be dynamic, robust, responsive, globally competitive and fit for the Nigerian context.

“This will give fillip to the tech savvy youth to innovate, spur confidence of tech investors, and attract significant investments in the blockchain ecosystem,” she said.

Mr Uche Elendu, Chief Executive Officer, Appzone Switch, said that blockchain provided trust without human intermediaries, and auto execute contracts transparently.

Elendu listed the features of blockchain to include enhanced security, data immutability, transparency, privacy;  and allowed peer to peer transactions without intermediary.

He called for massive stakeholder education and sensitisation, and the creation of platforms for traditional veterans to collaborate with tech entrepreneurs to unlock the value in the technology.

“Blockchain has governance and regulatory framework which ensures that security audits would be done on smart contracts to verify that their logic is in line with rules of business network.

“It is safe and secured, and is one of the biggest opportunities we can think of in the next decades.

“The proper implementation of blockchain technology would enable the cashless economy that the country has been trying to achieve,” he said.

Mr Ernest Mbenkum, Founder, Bantu Blockchain Foundation, charged entrepreneurs to embrace blockchain technology, particularly, the African development model, “Bantu for improved global payment and trade.”

Mbenkum revealed that the Bantu blockchain was designed to quickly and securely transfer, swap, and trade digital assets globally and at almost zero cost.

He noted that blockchain opportunities for Africa would dramatically increase local production and exports via asset tokenisation and reduce dependence on imports.

He said that another opportunity for Africa was in the need for an open, secure and transparent Africa led global infrastructure to unlock unlimited liquidity via resources and asset tokenisation and real time value transfer.

“Bantu is enabling a Pan-African market infrastructure that unifies the secure issuance, trading, settlement, clearing and custody of digital assets in all their manifestation and mutations in real time.

“This will unlock the capital trapped in the informal sectors of the economy which will positively impact the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the continent.

“With Bantu, we can tokenise agricultural commodities, infrastructure, raw materials, real estate and we need to support it to grow our own ecosystem,” he said.

In the meantime, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says the all-commodity group import index grew marginally by 1.07 per cent between April and June.

It said this on Wednesday in Abuja, in the “Commodity Price Indices and Terms of Trade for Quarter Two, 2021” published on its website.

According to the report, the growth was driven mainly by products of the chemical and allied industries (1.40 per cent), wood and articles of wood, wood charcoal and articles (1.37 per cent) and paper making material, paper and paperboard articles (1.23 per cent).

The NBS also said that between April and May, the all-commodity group import price index grew marginally by 0.12 per cent.

This, it said, was due to marginal increases in the index of products of the chemical and Allied industries (0.78 per cent), wood and articles of wood, wood charcoal and articles (0.72 per cent), paper making material, paper and paperboard (0.44 per cent).

“This was offset by decrease in the prices of live animals, animal products (-0.17 per cent), animal and vegetable fats and oils and cleavage (-0.23 per cent) and mineral products (-0.27 per cent).”

It also said that between May and June, the all commodity group import index grew by 0.95 per cent, driven by mineral products (1.15 per cent), animal and vegetable fats and oils and other cleavage products (1.13 per cent) and live animals, animal products (1.10 per cent) and others.

The document said that all-commodity group export index increased by 0.72 per cent between April and June driven mainly by an increase in the prices of product of the chemical and allied industries (2.54 per cent).

Others are, plastic rubber and articles (0.85 per cent) and mineral products (0.74 per cent).

It, however, said that the index was negatively affected by live animals, animal products (-2.61 per cent), vehicles, aircraft and parts (-0.24 per cent) and wood and articles of wood, wood charcoal and articles (-0.23 per cent).

The NBS explained that Terms of Trade (TOT) represents the ratio between a country’s export prices and its import prices.

“The ratio is calculated by dividing the price of the exports by the price of the imports, usually in percentage terms.

“An increase in the TOT between two periods (or when TOT is greater than 100 per cent) means that the value of exports is increasing relative to the value of imports and the country can afford more imports for the same value of exports.”


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