FG restates commitment to hasten Nigeria’s digital economy

FG restates commitment to hasten Nigeria’s digital economy

FG restates commitment to hasten Nigeria’s digital economy

The minister of communications and digital economy, Isa Pantami, has re-emphasized the resolve of the Federal Government, through the Ministry, to continually advance the digital economy agenda of the country.

Pantami stated this while delivering a keynote address at the maiden edition of the National Dialogue on Telecoms and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Sectors in Nigeria held at the NAF Conference Centre & Suites, Abuja on Thursday.

The event was organised by the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) in collaboration with other industry stakeholders.

Represented by Umar Garba Danbatta, the executive vice chairman and chief executive officer of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the minister said the event with the overarching theme: ‘Harnessing the Digital Resources for the Building of Our National Economy’ and sub-themes lined up for discussions, were apt and timely, given the increased reliance of individuals and businesses on digital platforms to carry out their activities.

Pantami stated that the digital economy journey started by the Ministry, following the President’s approval in 2019, culminated in the development of an eight-pillar National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) with a view to providing a more coordinated and enhanced national policy direction for transforming Nigeria’s economy into a truly digital economy.

He said that NDEPS is a policy document that addresses different aspects of development that require attention in order to have a vibrant digital economy, adding that, like Nigeria, most nations are prioritising the need to develop their digital economies because of the multiplier effect on all other sectors of the economy.

L-R: Mr Alan Sinfield, Managing Director/CEO 9mobile; Prof Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Mr.Olusola Teniola, President Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON); Mr. Muyiwa Ogungboye, 2nd Vice President ATCON; Mr. Adeleke Adewolu, Executive Commissioner, Stakeholder Management, NCC, during the maiden edition of the National Dialogue on Telecoms and ICT Sector in Nigeria organised by ATCON at the NAF Conference Centre & Suites, Kado, Abuja today (Thursday, October 14, 2020.)

The Minister noted some of the challenges of the digital economy to include rapid evolution of technology and widening inequalities between the digital “haves” and “haves-not”; need for new regulations; cybercrime and other threats; low level of digital literacy; and the need for infrastructure.

While expressing optimism about Nigeria’s digital economy strategy, he said the economic growth and productivity; increased transparency; growth of digital innovation and entrepreneurship; digitisation of work and useful insights from big data are some of the opportunities that abound and from which the economy will gain.

“The telecom and ICT sector stand to gain a lot from the development of our digital economy and the public and private sector need to come on board to maximise the impact on the entire economy,” the Minister said.

Earlier in his welcome address, the President of ATCON, Olusola Teniola, said the national dialogue was targeted at harnessing the digital resources in the country with a view to optimising innovative ideas to effectively pursue the digital economy agenda of the Federal Government.

The event featured insightful panel discussion sessions by industry stakeholders and goodwill messages by state governments’ representatives across the six geo-political zones, who used the platform to talk about how their states were leveraging ICT deployment to drive their economic activities and the development of their states.