The Nigerian government has held a preliminary meeting with crypto exchange Binance to establish a special economic zone aimed at supporting crypto and blockchain-related businesses in a bid to rein in crypto investment outside Nigeria’s official net.
The proposed partnership seeks to build a crypto-friendly digital city similar to the virtual free zone in Dubai.
NEPZA managing director Adesoji Adesugba said the proposed zone will be a first in West Africa and act similar to Dubai’s virtual zones, which are designed to provide crypto-friendly laws, regulations and tax incentives for crypto businesses.
Adesugba said the zone would help develop Nigeria’s digital economy and widen employment opportunities.
He added, “Our goal is to engender a flourishing virtual free zone to take advantage of a near trillion-dollar virtual economy in blockchains and digital economy.”
The early-stage plans were discussed during a meeting between Adesugba, Binance executive director Nadeem Ladki, Talent City CEO, Luqman Edu and NEPZA director Sikiru Lawal in Dubai.
Further, Adesugba said that the move would be part of Nigeria’s economic development agenda, with the vision to further drive crypto adoption in the West African region.
“We seek to break new grounds to widen economic opportunities for our citizens in line with the economic development agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari,” he said.
It was also affirmed that Nigeria has one of the highest rates of cryptocurrency adoption worldwide, with over 22 million crypto owners.