FG approves National Blockchain Policy, okays N16.7bn refund for Borno

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami

The Federal Government on Wednesday in Abuja approved the implementation of the National Blockchain Policy for Nigeria.

A blockchain is a decentralised, distributed and public digital ledger used to record transactions across many computers.

Such records cannot be altered retroactively without the alteration of subsequent blocks and the consensus of the network.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami said at the end of Wednesday’s cabinet meeting that the policy was developed in consultations with stakeholders involving more than 50 institutions and personalities.

“With the approval of the National Blockchain Policy, we can safely say that blockchain technology with all its components and types have been institutionalised in the country.

“The Federal Government had earlier approved the National Digital Economy policy and strategy for a digital Nigeria.

“It was unveiled and launched on Nov. 28, 2019,’’ Pantami said,

The minister explained that following the approval of the policy, cabinet directed regulatory agencies to liaise with the National Information Technology Development Agency to ensure that regulatory instruments were introduced in national economy and security.

Cabinet on Wednesday also approved a refund of N16.8 billion to Borno for road projects executed by the state government on behalf of the Federal Government.

In another media briefing, Mr Laolu Akande, spokesman for Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, said a debt sustainability analysis would be carried out by the Debt Management Office (DMO) on the payment of the debt.

He added that approval would be obtained from the National Assembly before the money would be paid to Borno.

“Council approved the president’s memo for the reimbursement of funds spent by Borno on federal road projects in the sum of N16.8 billion.

“This will be processed after a debt sustainability analysis has been conducted by the DMO leading to the issuance of debt instrument and promissory notes in the same value to be approved by the National Assembly,’’ Akande said.

In yet another briefing, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Mr Adeleke Mamora, said cabinet approved a National Technology Action Plan for Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation in the country’s most vulnerable sectors.

He said the devastating effects of climate change had made it expedient for nations to take actions on mitigation and adaptation to emerging trends.

At his own briefing, Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, said cabinet approved N2.6 billion as variation for the procurement of security and safety operations equipment for the Maiduguri International Airport.

“The president had earlier approved an expenditure of a little more than N20 billion on the project,’’ he said.

Sirika also assured that the national carrier, Nigeria Air, would take off before May 29. (NAN)

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