Experts Canvass for Free Trade Zones, Favourable Regulatory Policies on Blockchain Technology, Crypto Trading  

Emma Okonji

Experts in the Financial Technology (FinTech) space have stressed the need for the federal government to collaborate with the Central Bank of |Nigeria (CBN), in order to create free trade zones and develop policies that would favour the growth of blockchain technology and crypto currency trading in Nigeria.

The experts who spoke at this year’s Technext 2.0 Conference, held in Lagos, said the value of blockchain technology that is driving technology innovation in crypto trading, had become so high and widely sought after, such that Nigerian government can no longer ignore it. 

They therefore called on the federal government and the CBN, to as a matter of urgency, crate free trade zones for crypto trading and also develop regulatory policies that will control blockchain technology and digital currency in Nigeria.

One of the keynote speakers at the conference, and CEO of Patricia, a FinTech company, Mr. Hanu Fajiro, said: “Nigeria needs free trade zones to trade on digital currencies because of its huge potential. There is also need for favourable regulatory policies on blockchain technology that is driving crypto trading. Nigeria needs to move away from dependency on oil and fossil fuel to blockchain technology and crypto currency that is driven by technology innovation. Nigeria needs more technology hubs to develop talents and the human capital through technology innovation. We want favorable policy that will not stifle the growth of crypto currency and blockchain technology, but rather policy that will enhance their growth.”

Speaking on the value and future of blocjchain technology and crypto currency in Nigeria, Fajiro said the future remained very bright and that patronage from Nigeria has been on the rise.

“Nigeria is ranked fourth among countries with the largest number of crypto currency transactions in the world. This goes to show the importance of crypto. America, which tops the ranking, has regulations on crypto currency, but in Nigeria, there are no regulations because the government is scared about the negative part of the business, yet the demand for crypto trading is still high. This goes to show that Nigerians, especially the youths, have strong belief that the business is legitimate and prosperous. Government therefore needs to pay attention blockchain technology and crypto currency because of the huge value,” Fajiro added.

In one of the breakout sessions during the conference, the panelists stressed the need for regulation of digital currencies, especially from the consumer perspective. 

A panelists and CEO of Appzone, Mr. Obi Emetarom said regulation, especially from the consumer point of view, remained one key area that will make DeFi more inclusive. 

According to him, regulation gives a strong backing that will make online financing and trading more secure, stable and trusted.

“The second key area that will make DeFi more inclusive, is to open up the financial market and expand it beyond collaterals for all levels of interested players, so that those without collaterals who are interested in the financing business, can be part of it. The third area is to incorporate the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) into DeFi, to boost the trust of people who wants to trade on digital currencies online for the purchase of financial assets,” Emetarom said. In his welcome address, the convener, Mr. David Afolayan promimsed to make the annual conference bigger with emerging technologies.

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