The Blockchain Technology is a distributed ledger system that underlies cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and platforms like Ethereum. It provides a way to record and transfer data that is transparent, safe, auditable, and resistant to hacking. This technology has the ability to make organizations, government or industries that adopt it to be transparent, democratic, decentralized, efficient, and secure.
With a technology as highly disruptive as blockchain, we expect the government should jump on it to use it as a tool to make the life of her people better, using it as yardstick for better governance and democratic leadership. Although, most countries are taking the lead in taking advantage of this technology, the African nations are still on the end of totem pole and are skeptical in embracing this innovation.
Most African nations are already adopting blockchain technology and it is already yielding maximum result, there is no doubt that Blockchain is one of the technology of the future but I still doubt if the African continent is yet to realize that.
Related: What Blockchain Could Do For Nigeria
Since her independence, Nigeria has gradually grown from an over looked community of people with limited opportunities to a force to reckon with in the African continent.
The Nigeria of today, is no doubt a haven of technological advancements, this is evident in the number of manufacturing industries sited at strategic places in the country, which ranges from food processing industries, automobile industries, steel industries, oil refineries e.t.c.
Technology will continue to advance rapidly as we move into the next millennium. It is imperative that Nigeria as a nation embraces this innovation and takes advantage of it to better her populace.
There are industries that Blockchain technology can disrupt in Nigeria and will rapidly transform these sectors for good.
These are the list of industries that Blockchain technology will disrupt in Nigeria.
The Banking And Payment Industry
Since of the Advent of commercial banking in Nigeria in early 1925, it has metamorphose to become a break through instrument in fostering economic growth and helping business strive in Nigeria.
According to the selected banking sector data from the Bureau Of Statistics:
A total volume of 304,307,931 transactions valued at N22.01 trn were recorded in Q1 2017 as data on Electronic
Payment Channels in the Nigeria Banking Sector revealed. ATM transactions dominated the volume of
transactions recorded. 179, 000, 000 volume of ATM transactions valued at N1.50 trn were recorded in Q1 2017.
In terms of credit to private sector, a total of N16.00 trn worth of credit was allocated by the banks in Q1 2017.
Services and Industry got credit allocation of N9.25trn and N6.19 trn to record the highest credit allocation in the period under review.
As at Q1, 2017, the total number of banks’ staffs increased from 76,812 in Q4 2016 to 77,690 in Q1 2017.
As impressive as this data look, Blockchain technology can deliver better If integrated into our banking platforms some of the features of Blockchain technology makes it a solution to some of the challenges banks are facing in Nigeria:
Some of those challenges facing banks in Nigeria include;
- Inability to carry out cross border payment; hindering the exchange of goods and services.
- Slow transaction processing time
- High cost of transactions
- Inability to bank the “unbanked”
Blockchain technology could disrupt the banking sector in Nigeria by providing the following;
- Blockchain technology will provide access to financial services to millions of the unbanked people in Nigeria.
- Allows instant cross border payment to anyone in the world. A case study of what ripple xrp is doing already.
- Provide security for data and information, Blockchain makes hacking impossible, if banks in Nigeria learn to secure database on the Blockchain and not on a central, it will make a lot of differences.
- Blockhain technology in Nigeria’s Banking sector would completely eliminate the need for intermediary to approve transaction between constumers, as millions of naira are spent in wire transfers from other parts of the world to Nigeria.
- Blockchain Technology will help Nigeria Banking industries tokenize traditional securities such bonds, stocks and alternative assets.
- Blockchain Technology will help Nigeria Banking industry to remove middle man or gate keeps in the Loans and credit industry, making more secure to borrow loan and credit, providing a lower interest rates.
- Clearance and Settlement Systems: Blockchain technology and distributed ledgers can reduce operational costs and bring us closer to real-time transactions between financial institutions.
- Fundraising: Raising money through venture capital is an arduous process. Entrepreneurs put together decks, sit through countless meetings with partners, and endure long negotiations over equity and valuation in the hopes of exchanging some chunk of their company for a check.
On the blockchain, you don’t need a platform to raise money. You don’t need venture capitalists. You don’t have negotiations. Anyone is free to raise money from anyone at any time, and anyone can invest in projects they find interesting. On the blockchain, fundraising takes the form of an initial coin offering (ICO). It’s the blockchain version of an IPO. Projects sell tokens, or coins, in exchange for a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and Ethereum. The value of the token is at least in theory tied to the success of its implementation in the future. Investing in tokens is a way for investors to bet directly on usage and value. Through ICOs, blockchain companies can short-circuit the conventional fundraising process by selling tokens directly to the public. Over the course of 2017, a whopping $5.6B was raised through ICOs. This will help Nigeria entrepreneurs and cryptopreneurs raise capitals to build innovation and disrupt businesses in Nigeria.
Pension and retirement sector
The pension and retirement sector in Nigeria is plagued with corruption and inefficiencies. This have for years affected the civil servant and government workers in Nigeria; Older persons are a particularly vulnerable group of people, due to a decline in their physical, mental and consequently economic powers. In Nigeria, westernization and urbanization is also eroding away the traditional extended family kinship system which hitherto took care of the elderly. Social security systems that have been in evolution right from the colonial era have not been very effective owing in the main, to administrative negligence, poor planning and poor policy implementation. To stem this tide, the Nigerian government introduced the pensions reform in 2004.
Some of the challenges faced by the nigeria paension and retirement sector include;
- Political control of the public pension funds
- Pension payment default by state and federal government.
- Flaws in pension disbursement and records.
- Plan document and management.
- Pension fraud and identity theft
As blockchain enters the mainstream and proves its ability to enable digital trust, improve operational efficiencies, redefine the customer experience and improve business resiliency, companies in the retirement industry are experimenting with simple use cases. In Nigeria, blockchain technology can help pension managers and pension institution to be able to proffer cutting edge business solution which can help protect the aged and retired in Nigeria.
These are some of the solution blockchain technology will proffer to the pension and retirement sector of Nigeria.
- Provides an automated decision making through smart contract; with a smart contract system in place through blockchain, it guarantees that payment are made as at when due, no need for unnecessary delays.
- Pension data base management will be simplified
- Automated identity verification
- Transparency and security: with the blockchain technology implemented on the pension and retirement industry. 2. Health sector
The Nigerian health care sector is at lowest currently; access to proper medical facilities is a serious issue. Blockchain technology could level the paly ground to most especially people in the rural area with medical and health care facilities
Some of the challenges blockchain technology could help the Nigerian healthcare sector solve includes the following;
- Corruption in healthcare
- Access to patient medical history
- Fraud related practices in health bill payment
These are some of the solutions that blockchain technology could proffer the Nigerian health care sector;
- Health data exchange: blockchain would help the Nigeria healthcare sector provide including health data security, integrity, and interoperability.
- Transparent billing management
- Drug supply chain source and intergrity; this will help fight fake drug production, by providing a verified platform where all drugs are verified before being distributed.
- Secure patient records: Most people have access to just a sliver of their health history. Blockchain could help pull together a lifetime of transactions from multiple health systems, pharmacies, and health plans. This information could be processed into readable information for a patient’s own use, or converted into records available to a variety of electronic medical records systems. Links to detailed information about procedures, encounters, diagnoses, claims, and prescriptions could be added over time, with access to this information managed by patients or their designees 3. Voting and election
The election process in Nigeria has been marred by irregularities. Rigging has been one of the major challenges Nigerian electioneering body is faced with. With the help of blockchain technology, Nigeria voting system will be distributed, free from hacking, and manipulation. Probably one of the most important areas of society that the blockchain will disrupt is voting. The previous elections are not the first time certain parties were accused of rigging election results. Blockchain technology can be used for voter’s registration, identity verification, and electronic vote counting to ensure that only legitimate votes are counted, and no votes are changed or removed. Creating an immutable, publicly-viewable ledger of recorded votes would be a massive step toward making elections more fair and democratic. 4. E-commerce industry
The ecommerce industry is one major area that blockchain technology will disrupt, providing a secure system for carrying out day to day businesses transactions;
Some of the challenge faced by the e-commerce industry in Nigeria includes,
- Slow transaction
- Lack of trust
Solution blockchain technology will bring to Nigeria e-commerce industry
- Secured payment process; Unmatched low fees for instantaneous transactions.
Anyone can participate because it is country-agnostic.
There’s no third party that requires financially sensitive and personal information.
- Decentralized market places like coineasybuy where buyers and sellers meet without the interference of intermediaries.
- Secured management system; blockchain will help e-commerce industries in nigeria create a secured management systems in the following areas Logistics
- Inventory Control
- Payroll System
- Authenticity of products
- Identity management
Blockchain technology will revolutionize how day to day lives, businesses and industries in Nigeria do things. There are lots of other industries that will be disrupted in Nigeria, if the government will make a conscious effort to create the awareness of blockchain technology and it will go a long way to help in providing opportuinties for a better nation.