The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has stated that Blockchain technology should be institutionalized to enhance financial transactions and economic development.

Sanwo-Olu spoke during the 12th Annual Public Lecture organized by the Lagos State Public Service Chapter of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) held in Ikeja.

The Governor, who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary/Accountant-General, Lagos State, Dr. Muritala Abiodun, charged accountants to seek more knowledge and adopt new skills that will boost their service delivery.

He said: “At the beginning of this year, Lagos State budget was predicated on about N300 per litre for the price of diesel; today, it is over N800 and there is no doubt about it that contracts that were conceived and awarded will be subjected to variation”. 

He explained that during the COVID-19 pandemic, the State Government came up with a lot of initiatives in the various sectors, including Eko TeleMed which enabled citizens to access medical care without leaving their comfort zones or homes. 

“In the area of education, students of Lagos State University were taking virtual classes during the period. Similarly, in the Office of the Accountant-General, we had to follow the procurement processes to pay salaries”, he added.

Declaring that the next step is to institutionalize these initiatives through deliberate policies that will reduce the turnaround time for payment vouchers, Sanwo-Olu implored accountants in the State’s workforce to seek more knowledge and improve themselves, especially on Blockchain technology.

The 58th President of ICAN, Mallam Tijani Isah, who was represented by the Vice President, Davidson Alaribe, said the annual lecture is one of the flagship programmes of the Lagos State Public Service Chapter of ICAN.

According to him, the past editions of the programme have contributed to national debates and developed profound and physical recommendations, impacted policies and enhanced accountants and finance experts’ competence.

The Chairman of the Lagos State Public Service Chapter of ICAN, Mr. John Oyegunle, noted that the citizens should take advantage of Blockchain as an emerging technology to achieve the six pillars of the State Government’s T.H.E.M.E.S development agenda.

In his lecture, the former ICAN President, Alhaji Rasak Jaiyeola, explained that cash transfers through banks are fraught with inaccessibility and lack of transparency unlike in Blockchain.

While describing Blockchain as a shared, decentralised or distributed immutable ledger that facilitates public transactions, Jaiyeola noted the new technology is transparent, accessible to all users and enables easy tracking, adding that the blocks are validated by miners before transactions are sent to everybody, which provides an indelible record of transactions. 

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