Connect with us

News

NCC, Stakeholders Brainstorm on Blockchain’s Benefits to Economy

Published

on

Dr. Haru Al-Hassan

Nasiru Yusuf

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), stakeholders in the academia, the public sector and enthusiasts of technology for development, have deliberated on the benefits derivable from emerging technologies such as Blockchain, to advance the growth of the Nigerian economy.

KANO FOCUS reports that at a recently-organised two-day workshop by the Commission, in collaboration with the Bureau of Public Service  Reforms (BPSR), stakeholders were in accord that through effective implementation of policies as expressed in guidelines, regulations and directions driven by the NCC, Blockchain could be a bedrock of economic innovation and growth.

The workshop, which took place in Abuja and focused on ‘’Distributed Ledger Technology (Blockchain) Ecosystem, Decentralisation and Adoption Methods’’, drew participants from financial institutions, Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), the academia, the Nigerian military, and paramilitary forces, the Nigerian Cyberwarfare Command, and the private sector.

Cross section of dignatries

The stakeholders, who spoke in turn at the workshop, acknowledged and profoundly appreciated the role of NCC in engendering a dynamic digital regulatory environment, the remarkable contribution to the growth and development of novel and emerging technologies, and NCC’s adoption of adaptive mechanisms that have enhanced emerging technologies in Nigeria.

Addressing a large audience at the event, NCC’s Director, New Media and Information Security, Dr. Haru Al-Hassan, who delivered the opening speech at the event, on behalf of the Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, said existing national digital economy frameworks such as the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2020-2030 instituted by the Federal Government as well as regulatory initiatives by the Commission, have been significant enablers of Blockchain and emerging technologies in the country.

According to Al- Hassan, “good regulatory policies are the bedrock of innovation and growth and it is the aspiration of the Commission that Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) otherwise known as Blockchain and other innovative technologies and services would continue to thrive and contribute to the growth and development of Nigeria.”

In the same vein, the Director-General, BPSR, Dr. Dasuki Arabi, informed the audience that the Nigerian government was already making efforts, through a number of initiatives, to harmonizing emerging technologies with the contemporary public service sector in a way that strengthens the efficiency of the public sector.

Dr. Dasuki Arabi

He also affirmed that Blockchain would be central in the implementation of the National e-Govt Masterplan.

The BPSR Chief Executive equally listed the introduction of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), the Bank Verification Number (BVN), automation of enforcement activities of some agencies of the government, including the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), as well as automated performance measurement systems for public sector employees, as concrete examples of the utilisation of technology in the public sector.

Arabi asserted that Nigeria ranks third in Africa, in the use of telecommunications for public service delivery, coming behind South Africa and Egypt. Arabi called on policymakers to ensure robust policy formulation that ensures improved digital literacy and increased automation in public service delivery.

Other speakers at the event included  Dr. Abdul-Kareem Oloyede of University of Ilorin, Kwara State; Amaka Ukwueze and Vivian Okonkwo, both of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Enugu State, and Col. Romi Legha of the Indian High Commission.

Oloyede, who clarified the difference between Blockchain and Bitcoin, stated that the former is the underlying technology used for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

He also stated that Blockchain could be utilised to minimise expenditure and expenses, speed up transactions, and improve data security for financial institutions, health care, and businesses.

Ukwueze particularly applauded the Commission for taking the lead in discussions on DLTs considering the fact that Nigeria does not have a clear-cut Blockchain policy yet, even though countries worldwide had begun integrating DLT as a central part of their business practices.

Cross section of dignatries

“Republic of Malta, a southern European island country, located in the south central region of the Mediterranean Sea, incorporated Blockchain into its digital and economic ecosystem. Also, China, Abu Dhabi, and Japan are also instituting DLT-friendly regulations in their governance processes,” Ukwueze said.

Accordingly, Ukwueze urged the Federal Government to adopt Blockchain deployment actively, promote legal certainty for Blockchain applications, and provide a flexible and adaptive regulatory environment that fosters innovation.

Conclusively, Ukwueze stated that “government’s regulatory enforcement processes must seek to encourage companies to be consumer-centric and ensure compliance”.

In her contribution to the discourse, Okonkwo said adoption of Blockchain technology would be essential in documentation, archiving, cloud storage, identity management, and online education.

Additionally, Okonkwo declared that blockchain is a cost-effective method of optimising the quality of the educational administrative processes, and equally a cost-effective application that could improve service delivery across the nation.

The DLT, such as Blockchain, DAG; Hashgraph; Holochain; Tempo (Radix), is a digital system for recording transactions of assets at multiple places simultaneously. The key features of DLT include: immutability (once written, it is extremely difficult to alter), and peer-to-peer sharing, in the sense that ledger is shared among peers while there is no central ownership.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Headlines

House of Representatives holds valedictory session for Ghali Na’abba

Published

on

Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

The House of Representatives, on Thursday, held a valedictory session in honour of a former Speaker of the House, Ghali Na’Abba.

KANO FOCUS reports that Na’Abba, who served as the speaker of the Fourth House (1999-2003), passed away in December 2023 at the age of 65.

Numerous former members of the House attended the valedictory session. They include the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, who served as the speaker of the Ninth House; Aminu Masari, the speaker of the 5th House; Emeka Ihedioha, and Lasun Yusuff, deputy speakers in the 7th and 8th Assemblies.

Others include former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, Chibudom Nwuche, who served as deputy to Na’Abba, the family of the late lawmaker, and others.

In his speech, Mr Gbajabiamila said the former legislator met very little in terms of “rules and protocols” to guide the House when he became the speaker in 1999.

He stated that Na’Abba championed the “institutionalisation of the legislature” after years of military rule.

“When our nation returned to democracy in 1999, the rules and protocols that guide us now did not exist at that time. But he worked to guide the House,” he remarked.

Mr Gbajabiamila, who served as the speaker of the House from 2019-2023, said he received valuable counsel from Na’Abba while he (Gbajabiamila) was in office.

“I did not meet him while he was the speaker but I consulted him during my speakership. I treasured the words and the advice he gave,” he said.

He said Mr Na’Abba could have chosen the path of family business, but he chose to serve his people.

Masari, who is also a former governor of Katsina State, also spoke on the role of the former late speaker in shaping the National Assembly. He saluted his courage and doggedness in building Nigeria’s legislature into a formidable institution.

In his remarks, the Speaker of the House, Abbas Tajudeen, said Na’Abba fought the battle for the budget of the National Assembly to be on the “first line charge” and created the current legislative aide system.

“His tenure was marked by efforts to ensure the independence of the legislature, recognising that a truly democratic society thrives when its legislative arm operates without undue influence, freely articulating the will and aspirations of the people.

“He worked diligently with his colleagues to ensure the National Assembly budget was put on the first-line charge. He also formalised the legislative aides’ system we operate today, which continues to boost the capacity of legislators for enhanced performance,” he said.

Tajudeen promised to ensure that Na’Abba’s legacy is solidified through quality legislations.

“As we honour his legacy, let us also acknowledge our collective responsibility to build on the foundations he laid. The legislature remains a vital organ of our democracy, with the potential to drive Nigeria towards unprecedented growth and development.

“As legislators, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that the House continues to serve as a forum for meaningful dialogue, a catalyst for change, and a protector of the rights and freedoms of our citizens,” he said.

Two weeks ago, the House, through a motion, resolved to name the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) after Mr Na’Abba. However, the implementation of the motion is subject to concurrence of the Senate.

Continue Reading

Headlines

Naira Freefall: EFCC arrests 7 BDC operators in Kano

Published

on

Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

No fewer than seven Bureau De Change operators and others have been arrested by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC on Wednesday in Kano state.

KANO FOCUS reports that the persons were arrested by the operatives who carried out a raid on the BDC operators at the popular forex exchange WAPA market in Fagge local government area.

The Chairman of the market, Malam Sani who confirmed the development to newsmen in Kano, said the operatives raided the market in search of hoarders of dollars.

Wada however maintained that members in the market don’t engage in hoarding and are all operating with licenses from authorities.

“It was a joint taskforce that raided the market in search of those who are hoarding dollars and causing the depreciation in the value of Naira.

“They have arrested no fewer than seven individuals, some of them are our members and others are only passerbys. They said they are going to screen them to confirm who is who. We are yet to meet the taskforce now.

“All of them were arrested randomly and non of them was arrested carrying even a dollar on him.

“The WAPA Forex Market is licenced and there are no fewer than two hundred licenced individual outfits here in the market. All our operations are operating within the ambit of the law.

“When they struck, they hindered activities in the market as people closed down there offices, however things have since returned to normal.

“I advised the authority to implore the whistleblower tactic to track down those who have Dollars hoarded. But there is no Dollar anywhere in the market at the moment. Nobody has it. Even if you see it, it will not be more that $100 or $200 that’s all. We don’t have Dollars.

Continue Reading

Headlines

Education Summit: Kano Govt frowns at late coming to school among pupils

Published

on

Nasiru Yusuf Ibrahim

 

The Kano state government has expressed displeasure over staggering lateness among pupils, warning that it will not condone late coming to school by children.

KANO FOCUS reports that the commissioner of education Alhaji Umar Haruna Doguwa gave the warning on Tuesday at a two-day education summit organised by the government in conjunction with Adolescent Health and Information Projects AHIP, PLANE, CSACEFA and Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF).

Doguwa said said the government would collaborate with Hisbah corps to monitor students who move around the streets during school hours and take action them.

Alhaji Umar Haruna Doguwa

At the Summit with the theme, ‘Towards Strengthening Retention and Completion of Girl’s Education‘, the commissioner informed participants of strides of this administration in revitalising and fortifying the education sector with focus on empowering and retaining girls in the school system towards completion.

According to him “the government is collaborating with European Union EU and other development partners to improve education in the state.”

He noted that, to improve better system, the government would also constitutes Council on Education and Education data bank for effective monitoring.

Diginatries at the event

Recognising transportation barriers, Doguwa explained that, Kano state government has reintroduced dedicated 57 shuttle buses for girl students in the state to ease transport.

The commissioner said; “Within the 8 metropolitan Local Government Areas. We are currently looking at the ministry of Education proposal of expanding the shuttle bus service coverage to reach remote and underserved areas.”

ACF representatives at the event

Speaking on lack of schools attendance by students, he said the government would collaborate with Hisbah paramilitary to monitor students who move about the streets during school hours and take action them.

The Director Adolescent Health and Information Projects, Hajiya Mairo Bello identified education as the first foundation of life, stressing that “AHIP is determined to promote Girl Child Education not only in Kano state but the entire Northern Nigeria.”

She said other thematic areas of AHIP includes youth Development programmes, Women Empowerment initiatives, Health promotions, life skills training, Community Mobilization and Networking and Gender and Social inclusions among others initiatives.

Diginatries at the event

“Our Adolescent girls must retain and complete their education for Nigeria’s brighter future and economic prosperity,” Hajia Bello said.

She noted that promotion of education is moral responsibility of all, adding that her NGO is ready to partner with the Kano state government and others to advance the course of girl child education.

Representatives of Traditional Institutions

Also speaking, Professor Ismail Mohammed Zango while presenting findings from a Research conducted on Exploring the Adolescent Girls’ Education in Kano state said, school attendance completion ratio in Kano indicates that boys seems to complete their junior and senior secondary Schools more than the girls in Kano state.

He stressed the need to bridge the gap, identifying critical roles of parents in achieving Girls retention and completion of schools.

Zango also identified poverty as a great factor to school retention and completion of girls Education.

The Chairman Arewa Consultative Forum ACF Kano Chapter, Dr. Goni Umar Farouk called on the business community to contribute to Education and not leave it to the hands of governments a lone.

He also, called on the Kano State government to invest in ICT Education of children as the world is going digital.

 

Continue Reading

Trending