Experts Demand that Blockchain and Fintech Regulations be Reviewed.

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Experts and entrepreneurs in the digital space have called for a critical review of Nigeria’s digital economic regulations to meet up with other progressive economies.

The professionals, who spoke at the 2022 Legal Business conference in Lagos, said these digital sectors included blockchain, crypto and fintech innovation.

According to a statement, the professionals in the fintech and blockchain subsector of the financial industry said Nigeria was losing billions of naira owing to its inability to explore and maximise myriads of opportunities inherent in the digital world like other economies.

On Nigeria’s imprudence and underutilisation of the digital space, the President, Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association, Senator Ihenyen, said that in a global digital economy worth $3tn, Nigeria’s digital sector currently contributed 16 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product (according to the Ministry of State, Budget and National Planning).

Ihenyen said that although the US digital economy accounted for half of that amount in the US GDP, the US GDP was over $20tn compared to the Nigeria’s GDP of just about $440bn currently.

Considering Nigeria’s huge youth population, the rate of entrepreneurship and innovation in the country, its growing tech ecosystem and strategic position in the African market, he said Nigeria’s potential remained high but considerably underutilised and unharnessed.

He said, “While what Nigeria has lost due to our inability to explore the digital space may not be quantified in monetary value, it is not unsafe to say that Nigeria has lost at least the size of its current GDP to its inability to leverage the digital economy for significant economic growth and development.

“Thus, to fully digitise and digitalise Nigeria, Nigeria needs to get five things right: One, invest in digital infrastructure, including broadband connectivity in both urban and rural areas.

“Two, Nigeria must invest in both public and private digital platforms to support digital services and ecommerce. Three, we must invest in digital financial services in order to boost financial inclusion.

“Four, we must invest in digital skills through massive capacity-building programmes targeted at its teeming youths. Lastly, invest in policy development that will encourage and support digital entrepreneurship and innovation across sectors of the economy, not stifle it,”

Speaking on opportunities inherent in the digital space for lawyers, the Convener and Founder, Legal Business Network, Ifeoma Ben, said the advent of technology had opened up vast opportunities through which legal luminaries could offer 21st century services to clients, only if they would run alongside with the speed of time.