Dr Isa Pantami Minister of Communication nad Digital Economy
Dr Isa Pantami Minister of Communication nad Digital Economy

NEWS DIGEST – The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) on Friday said that regulating Information Technology (IT) would ensure sustainable development in the country.

The Director-General of NITDA, Dr Isa Pantami, made the assertion at the Lagos Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Digital Assets Conference.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Lagos Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Digital Assets on its 7th leg, is returning to Lagos for the 3rd consecutive season.

The conference is aimed to bridge the knowledge gap by providing government functionaries, decision makers, professionals and practitioners with the resources they need to make key business-shaping decisions in a rapidly-changing world.

The conference is themed:  “Blockchain Beyond the Hypes’’.

Pantami, represented by the Head of South West Zonal Office, Mrs Chioma Okee-Aguguo, said that regulating was not to stagnate IT but to promote it and put things in place to protect the vulnerable.

According to him, for effective regulating, inputs will be gathered from other stakeholders like the Central Bank of Nigeria and Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation, since it has to do with monetary issue.

“This conference is a unique opportunity to explain to the public the benefits and challenges of blockchain and its application in Nigeria.

“Digital economy relied on a third party entity and can be hacked but the adoption of blockchain can play a role of ensuring that people’s privacy are protected,’’ he said.

Pantami said that new innovation had gathered a necessary hype but not taking into consideration the infrastructure that was needed, saying that this is where the regulation of the agency would come in.

He said that the key to adoption of blockchain was digital identity.

Pantami said the agency would make use of Public Key Infrastructure(PKI) which was a set of roles, policies and procedures needed to create, manage, distribute, use, store and revoke digital certificates and manage public-key encryption.

He said that it would help to earn the trust and confidence of people within the cyber space.

Dr Segun Aina, President, Fintech Association of Nigeria said that there was the need to critically look at what solutions of block chain application the country would want to pitch on for its growth.

Aina said that to actualise this, there was also the need to domesticate Blockchain application in the country.

He urged the blockchain user groups to stand as an advocacy and support group and to continuously engage with government to ensure blockchain adoption in the country.

“Government needs to ensure that they digitise its activities, elevate discussion of the technology as such that it is well known by the public to improve their lives.

Earlier, the Convener and Founder of Blockchain Nigeria User Group, Mr Chimezie Chuta, said that the knowledge that would be got from the conference would position the country where it is meant to be as regards technology.

“We need to receive valuable things that would aid the country, go out with information and be able to apply them.

“The application of the information will give us new experience that will push the country to the next level.

He noted that the conference would feature a melding of the AI and Blockchain/ Virtual Financial Assets communities in Nigeria and across the world; and exploring the possibilities at the intersection of these technologies.

He said that the conference would bring together stakeholders who are applying Artificial Intelligence to solve today’s problems and creating tomorrow’s opportunities, while leveraging available tools, to create entirely new values. (NAN)

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