Nigeria’s government met with Binance, a crypto-exchange, to discuss the possibility of establishing a special economic zone that will support crypto and other blockchain-related businesses.
According a Friday post by the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority, (NEPZA), preliminary talks were held with Binance and the technology infrastructure company Talent City to talk about the proposed digital city. This is known as a “Virtual Free Zone”.
Adesoji Adesugba, NEPZA’s managing director, stated that the proposed zone would be a first for West Africa. It will act similarly to Dubai’s virtual areas, which are designed in order to provide tax incentives and crypto-friendly laws and regulations to crypto businesses.
Professor Adesoji Adesugba, Sameera Kimatrai (Binance Senior Law Counsel), Luqman Edu (CEO Talent City), Sikiru Legal (NEPZA Director). pic.twitter.com/73scHU4hYE
— NEPZA (@officialNEPZA)
September 2, 2022
Nigeria is home to one of the most prolific crypto adoption rates in the world, with more than 22 million crypto owners , according Triple A.
Adesugba stated that the zone would “widen employment opportunities” and help Nigeria develop its digital economy.
“Our goal” is to create a virtual free zone that flourishes, allowing us to benefit from a virtual economy in digital and blockchains worth nearly a trillion dollars.
Friday’s meeting saw Adesugba, Binance executive Director Nadeem Ladki and Talent City CEO Luqman Eldu discuss the early-stage plans. Sikiru Lawal, NEPZA director, was also present in Dubai.
Adesugba said that the move was part of Nigeria’s economic growth agenda with the vision of further driving crypto adoption in West Africa.
He stated that “We are determined to open new ground to increase economic opportunities for our citizens in accordance with the mandate and directive of the Honorable Secretary and the economic development agenda set forth by President Muhammadu Buhari.”
Similar: Safe Space: A Guide To Special Economic Zones For Crypto, From China to Switzerland
The rise in crypto adoption across Africa is due to an unstable financial system, high inflation and a poor financial system.
According to CoinGecko, Nigerians are the most crypto-obsessed nation . They search for “cryptocurrency”, “buy crypto” more often than any other 14 countries.
Nigeria also launched eNaira (October 2021), the first central banking digital currency (CBDC). It is currently in its second phase, and aims to increase financial inclusion by boarding the unbanked citizens in Nigeria.
Cointelegraph reached out to Binance in an effort to get more information about the discussions, but did not receive an answer immediately.