By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigeria’s digital economy is a goldmine that can contribute over N2 trillion to the economy in the next four years if tapped into, an expert in the industry. Ms Funke Opeke, has posited.
Ms Opeke is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MainOne Cable, a top communications service company. Speaking recently at the eNigeria Conference organised by the Nigerian Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) in Abuja, she said federal government needed to develop a comprehensive Information and Communications Technology (ICT) strategy that will bring this to fruition.
She said that it was essential that government also create a better environment for this thrive, adding that the infrastructure expansion could be affected by heavy taxes and regulations that negatively affect the job creation potentials of digital transformation.
Ms Opeke noted that the Nigerian youth population were the best investment it had and called on the government to put in place policies that will ensure that young technological innovation companies thrive, as this is a major step in making the county a key player globally.
She added that this would drive away the consumer culture that make Nigerians import technological products and make them key producers.
In his presentation, Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Pantami, stated that about 300 Nigerian Postal Service (NIPOST) structures in the country will be transferred to facility management entities for reconstruction and use to generate revenue for the government.
Mr Pantami also disclosed that the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy was in partnership with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on the Entrepreneurship Accelerated Program.
He said that the collaborative efforts between the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy and Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has led to the deactivation or proper registration of about 9 million invalidly registered SIM cards, many of which were used to undermine the nation’s security.
The World Bank Group, in its first Nigeria Digital Economy Diagnostic a report launched last week, revealed that although Nigeria is the largest mobile market in sub-Saharan Africa with strong mobile broadband infrastructure and a vibrant digital entrepreneurial ecosystem, the lack of infrastructure and connectivity in the country’s rural areas is a key challenge.
The report also showed that the country has made several positive developments in the digital space including high-speed Internet via five underwater international links, which has significantly reduced constraints in terms of international bandwidth usage and prices, as well as boosting network capacity.
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