Nigeria Considers Domestic Blockchain for Data Security

A Nigerian information technology agency is considering plans to develop a domestic blockchain to enhance national security and protect citizens’ data. A proponent of a locally developed blockchain argues that such a protocol would likely ensure compliance with Nigerian laws and allow the country greater control over its data.

Nigeria’s information technology agency, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), is endorsing plans to develop a domestic blockchain. NITDA Director General Kashifu Abdullahi said the blockchain, to be named “Nigerium,” aims to enhance national security and protect citizens’ data.

According to a report by Reportafrique, Abdullahi believes a domestically developed protocol, championed by Chanu Kuppuswamy and her colleagues at the University of Hertfordshire Law School, would allow Nigeria greater control over its data. Additionally, a locally developed blockchain would likely comply with Nigerian laws, making it preferable to foreign-developed protocols.

Kuppuswamy meanwhile argues that developing Nigerium is necessary because the Nigerian government has no influence over blockchains created outside the country, like Ethereum. This lack of control, she asserts, makes adopting such blockchains risky for Nigeria.

In addition to advocating for a domestic alternative to protocols like Ethereum, Kuppuswamy’s delegation reportedly recommended establishing a data embassy or server hosted in a neutral third country. This server would ensure Nigerian data remains secure and shielded from cyberattacks and other threats.

The Reportafrique report indicates that developing Nigerium is expected to be a collaborative effort between NITDA and key public and private sector stakeholders. However, the report does not provide details on when Nigeria expects to begin work on the domestic protocol.

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