The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, has said that the agency is targeting a revenue base of $40 billion from blockchain technology. On this basis, the Agency is executing blockchain project where it is training 500,000 Nigerians on blockchain technology.
The DG, who stated this at a recent stakeholder engagement forum organised by NITDA and Federal Inland Revenue Service in Lagos, further noted that the Agency plans on positioning Nigeria to at least get $40b from a projected addition of $1.7trillion to global GDP. “That is the minimum we are looking at”.
Kashifu further enumerated some of the plans towards establishing a formidable blockchain ecosystem in Nigeria: “We have national blockchain adoption strategy where we are working with the ecosystem to create use cases in blockchain. We are also working on National Skill strategy to achieve two things: one, 95 per cent digital literacy as well as make Nigeria global skill factory.
“We are also working on AI Policy Strategy Implementation that has to do with Roadmap for the adoption of AI, that will see us tap into the $13 trillion global market by 2030.
“National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics was established in 2001 to assist us harness value from all emerging technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Blockchain among others. They are going to be disruptive and are going to displace jobs. If we don’t position ourselves as a country, we would lose jobs and it will affect our economy.”
He hinted on the benefits of having a good chunk of the global market. “But if we position ourselves well, we will create more jobs and prosperity because Artificial intelligence will add $15.7trn to Global GDP, Blockchain $1,7tr. So, any country that is part of the first movers will benefit more from it. According to PWC, if you are among the first movers, you can add up to 26 per cent to your GDP from Artificial Intelligence and 10 per cent from Blockchain”.
Inuwa reiterated the need for continuous collaborations for higher productivity, according to him “no one can whistle a symphony, it takes a whole orchestra to play it. We believe in teamwork and we know there are things we can do as a government that you cannot do as a private sector and vice versa, but together nothing is impossible. That’s why we are here to forge a common front of working together, co-create the ecosystem and prosperity for all.”
The NITDA Boss also elucidated key focus of the Agency particularly the implementation of Nigeria Start-up Act, completion of the National Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre, National Data Strategy Implementation, Adoption of Blockchain Technology, Implementation of the National Digital Skills Strategy amongst others.
He made pledges and called for collaboration among all. “As we look to the future, NITDA is committed to sustaining the momentum, leveraging emerging technologies, developing policies and strategies that promote digital transformation, and creating an enabling environment for startups and entrepreneurs to thrive.
“We believe that with you all, we can build a more prosperous Nigeria, a country that is at the forefront of Africa’s digital economy, and a nation that can compete globally”, Inuwa assured.