In a noteworthy event that saw Mr. Obinna Iwuno, the President of Stakeholders in Blockchain Technology Association of Nigeria, (SiBAN) take the stage at the Digital Assets Summit, hosted by SiBAN, he spoke on the plans and strategy that SiBAN has implemented and is developing to correctly help transform the digital asset economy in the nation.
SiBAN, as a leading blockchain association in Nigeria, serves as a self-regulatory body committed to fostering innovation, collaboration, and education within the Nigerian blockchain ecosystem. The organization aims to create a safer and more prosperous digital asset industry.
During his presentation, Obinna mentioned that digital assets and blockchain technology are two vital tools in shaping the future of the world. He noted that the global trends in this space are evolving rapidly, and Nigeria, with SiBAN at the forefront, is poised to play a crucial role.
In the last one year, the federal government has expressed interest in exploring big data, and AI for payment. The central bank of Nigeria has also said it has plans to harness new payment infrastructures such as stablecoins, ICOs and DLT-based identity system.
Value creation, and ecosystem growth
Obinna went on to discuss the significance of driving real change through value creation in the digital assets ecosystem. He stressed that the potential of blockchain technology extends beyond revenue generation to profound social impact. Blockchain can be a tool to solve real-world problems and drive economic development.
In describing how value creation and sustainable growth in the ecosystem can help the nation, the President cited an example of how India has become a global envy in the tech space.
From the early 2000s until today, India has worked on becoming a major exporter of tech jobs and talents worldwide, as well as having Indian CEOs in top global tech companies.
Let us take a cue from India and use the opportunity that blockchain technology has provided us to achieve the same thing that they have achieved in tech. If you look at India today, it is the number one exporter of tech jobs and talents across the world.
He also mentioned that Nigeria possesses the potential to leverage blockchain technology and to integrate digital assets across various sectors, aiming to attain technological leadership in the technology landscape, beginning in Africa.
Building the ecosystem, and job creation
When discussing the current status of Nigeria’s digital asset ecosystem, he pointed out that although there has been progress, there are regulatory uncertainties that require attention.
He elaborated on the various categories of digital assets, with huge potentials including transactional, utility tokens, securities tokens, and digital representations of physical assets such as land.
Furthermore, he spoke about the generation of employment opportunities for young individuals within the industry saying that the government should not be viewed as the primary job creators but rather as facilitators.
Their role should focus on creating a conducive environment for businesses to thrive, thereby fostering job creation.
We are in a situation where many individuals aspire to graduate and enter government employment. While the government does provide employment opportunities, these positions are primarily oriented towards administrative roles.
Importance of collaboration and resilience
The SiBAN President also talked about the importance of stakeholder engagement, policy advocacy, industry standards promotion, and supporting blockchain ventures through funding and incubation in the entire industry.
Reflecting on how the industry has grown, he noted that resilience and adaptability in the blockchain ecosystem has kept it afloat.
We have been working in this ecosystem without backing or support from the government but now it is changing and all of that has begun to happen. But imagine that we had given up because there was no backing and support from them. Maybe we wouldn’t have what we have today.
Another critical aspect that Obinna mentioned in his presentation was the need for data-driven decision-making. He explained that collection and analyzing data is vital in understanding the impact of projects that are launched in the industry.
The President said that although in Africa, the importance of data is often overlooked, it is a major component of any thriving industry. He added that data is not just about numbers; it’s a tool for decision-making, evaluation, and progress tracking.
It guides decisions and helps identify areas for improvement, allowing for informed choices. He emphasized the significance of using data in every project to address challenges and make progress.
He called on stakeholders to always be conscious about data which will help them in executing their ideas. With the help of data, it is easier to create and implement new strategies in real time based on actual results and not speculations.
Looking ahead, he said that SiBAN’s future plans include building strong government and industry relationships, creating job opportunities and fostering collaboration and particion within the ecosystem. This will lead to better stronger policies and regulations being created for the industry.
In closing, President Obinna said that SiBAN remains committed to driving positive change, fostering innovation, and making Nigeria a prominent player in the global blockchain ecosystem.
He also called on the audience to join the SiBAN ecosystem to foster continued development and contribution to the Web3 ecosystem in Nigeria and Africa at large.