Nigerian Presidential Candidate Promises Blockchain, Crypto Regulation

Presidential hopeful Atiku Abubakar says if elected to office, he will focus on boosting the local economy by supporting cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology through a comprehensive policy.

Atiku Abubakar, who is making a bid for the Nigerian presidency in the upcoming February 2019 elections, has made the creation of a blockchain and digital currency policy part of his mandate.

As per a report by the Nigerian Daily Post, the aims have been outlined in the ‘Get Nigeria Working Again’ policy document prepared by the candidate from the People’s Democratic Party.

The move is part of Abubakar’s agenda to revive the crumbling Nigerian economy, which has faced significant setbacks in recent years due to oil prices declining and a crippling currency devaluation. With a new policy framework, the candidate is aiming to create more job opportunities and possibly new tax collection avenues for the government.

Abubakar was cited as saying:

“In harnessing the potentials of the new economy, we shall promote the production of a comprehensive policy on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies by the relevant government agencies. The terms of this mandate will ensure that these areas are regulated and managed in a way that provides job opportunities as well as income for the government and people of Nigeria.”

“Regulation will provide clarity for informed decision making, in this $278 billion industry that consists of 1,800 currency types,” he added.

The decision to tap into blockchain tech and digital currencies ties in with Abubakar’s stance as a ‘modernizer’ who aims to resuscitate Nigeria’s economy. It also builds upon the criticisms faced by the current president.

“My mission is to ensure that Nigeria’s economy is responsive to the challenges of the 21st century knowledge economy by keeping with the amazingly dynamic technological pace,” Abubakar said.

However, he is not the only one vying for blockchain and cryptocurrency oversight. As reported earlier this year, Nigerian lawmakers have been pushing for regulations and a legal framework for digital assets.

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies have come a long way over the past few years, and several countries around the world are now looking at digital assets seriously in a bid to formalize their usage. Malta, for example, has been among the leaders in the space, with several regulations already enacted and more in the pipeline.

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