Nigerian government and cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, recently held a meeting to discuss the possibility of establishing a special economic zone to support companies involved in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industries.
According to credible sources, Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) has held initial talks with Talent City and Binance to consider the establishment of the proposed digital city, a ‘Virtual Free Zone, has been
As per Adesoji Adesugba, NEPZA Managing Director, the zone is claimed to be first such proposal in West Africa. It will function similarly to virtual zones in Dubai which are intended to offer crypto firms laws, regulations, and tax incentives that are beneficial to the industry. Furthermore, it will also widen employment prospects for Nigerian residents, contributing to Nigeria's digital economy.
For the records, Nigeria has one of the highest rates of cryptocurrency adoption globally, with over 22 million owners.
It has been reported that the discussion was held between Adesugba, Nadeem Ladki, Executive Director of Binance, Talent City CEO- Luqman Edu, and Director of NEPZA, Sikiru Lawal in Dubai.
To further encourage the adoption of cryptocurrencies in the West African region, Adesugba noted that the action would be a part of Nigeria's goal for economic development.
Adesugba further stated that the authority plans to break new ground to widen economic prospects while keeping with the mandate of the Authority, the direction of the Honorable Minister, and the economic development goal of President Muhammadu Buhari.
For the unversed, the popularity of cryptocurrencies has risen gradually over the years in Africa, driven by a deficient financial system, unpredictable government policies, and inflation.
Surveys state that Nigerians are the most obsessed with cryptocurrencies, having searched for the terms ‘cryptocurrency’ and ‘purchase crypto’ more frequently than the citizens of any of the other 14 nations surveyed.
Additionally, Nigeria introduced eNaira, its first central bank digital currency (CBDC), in October 2021. eNaira aims to promote financial inclusion by enlisting Nigeria's unbanked population, and currently in its second phase.