Atiku Abubakar, a 2019 presidential candidate in Nigeria, said he will support cryptocurrency and blockchain if he becomes the country’s next leader, according to the Daily Post.
The push is part of his “Get Nigeria Working Again” proposal. Abubakar, who is a former vice president, plans to use cryptocurrency to help speed up the economy in the country.
“In harnessing the potentials of the new economy, we shall promote the production of a comprehensive policy on blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies by the relevant government agencies,” he said. “The terms of this mandate will ensure that these areas are regulated and managed in a way that provides job opportunities as well as income for the government and people of Nigeria.
Abubakar added that regulation will “provide clarity” and allow for jobs and income for Nigeria.
Nigeria has struggled with its economy, according to reports. It’s been weighed down in the past few years by falling oil prices and currency devaluation.
Other countries have also looked into formalizing cryptocurrency and blockchain into their respective economies. Malta, for example, has made steps toward its usage, as has Gibraltar.
Ohio is also in the mix, and will soon allow taxpayers to use bitcoin to cover tax bills. That push is being led by State Treasurer Josh Mandel, who said he sees cryptocurrency as an important form of legal tender in the future.
“I do see (bitcoin) as a legitimate form of currency,” he said, adding that he hopes other states follow Ohio’s lead.
Abubakar’s cryptocurrency push is in line with his aim to be seen as a modernizer for the country. He also wants to distance himself from the policies of the current president.
“My mission,” he said, “is to ensure that Nigeria’s economy is responsive to the challenges of the 21st century knowledge economy by keeping with the amazingly dynamic technological pace.”