NITDA to develop blockchain “Nigerium” for data Security

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

The National Information Technology Development Agency has unveiled plans to create an indigenous blockchain named “Nigerium,” aimed at safeguarding Nigeria’s data and enhancing national security.

This initiative responds to concerns that widely used blockchain technologies, such as Ethereum, are predominantly controlled by foreign developers who may not prioritize Nigeria’s interests.

Kashifu Abdullahi, Director General of NITDA, announced the ambitious project while hosting delegates from the University of Hertfordshire Law School in Abuja.

He emphasized that the collaboration between the private and public sectors will drive the development of Nigerium, ensuring Nigeria retains sovereignty over its data and technological advancements.

Abdullahi underscored the critical role of an indigenous blockchain in fortifying national security and protecting citizens’ data. He highlighted the necessity for Nigeria to have complete control over its technological infrastructure and regulatory frameworks.

The concept for Nigerium was initially proposed by Chanu Kuppuswamy and her delegation from the University of Hertfordshire Law School. Kuppuswamy argued that a domestically developed blockchain would enable Nigeria to tailor the technology to local needs and ensure compliance with national laws and regulations.

She cautioned against relying on foreign blockchains, citing instances where changes to platforms like Ethereum were implemented without consultation, potentially impacting users’ interests.

In addition to developing Nigerium, the Hertfordshire delegation recommended establishing a Data Embassy. This initiative would involve hosting a server in a third-party country to provide digital continuity and protect Nigeria’s data from natural disasters, cyber-attacks, and other threats.

Furthermore, the delegation proposed harmonizing blockchain technology across government agencies to enhance interoperability and collaboration.

The Nigerium project will be a collaborative effort involving NITDA, various government agencies, and private sector organizations. This initiative aligns with NITDA’s broader strategy to bolster Nigeria’s data sovereignty and bolster national security through advancements in blockchain technology.

NITDA has previously announced plans to establish research centers focused on AI, Internet of Things, and Blockchain across Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones. These centers will drive innovation in critical areas such as IoT, AI, robotics, and now blockchain, reinforcing Nigeria’s position at the forefront of technological development in Africa.

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