Hello, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this week’s segment of the Inspiring Country Actions Series under the #RebrandNigeriaCampaign!
This week, we would like to throw more light about a wonderful policy of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration that will sure take the country to the next level.
This giant step is the transition of Nigeria to the digital economy or broadly, the tech economy. To show that the Government is determined and serious about it, the Federal Ministry of Communications was renamed as the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy in order to re-position it for the big tasks ahead.
Positioning the country for the gains of digital economy will enable the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, which is the most diverse and fastest growing sector, to mobilize other sectors and align them with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the Federal Government.
As a way forward, the Federal Government unveiled the National Digital Economy Strategy at the e-Nigeria Conference in November, 2019. According to the Hon. Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), “the goal of this strategy is to ensure that every Nigerian becomes computer literate, owns a digital device, has access to the Internet, owns a bank account that can be accessed and operated digitally and online”.
Beyond financial services, the Government is also working to see majority of the citizens undertake many activities electronically and has developed the following seven pillars in order to achieve these tall objectives:
Developmental Regulation: This pillar will ensure that online communications and transactions focus on and encourage digital economy and ensure taxes and prices come down because when “prices come down, demand goes up” and entrepreneurs make more profit by sheer increase in the volume of trade.
Digital Literacy and Skills: Through this pillar, the government shall train and retrain youths, women, journalists, civil servants and those who are certificated but unemployed. The government hopes that with this policy, at least, 90 percent of Nigerians shall become digitally literate by the end of the decade.
Solid Infrastructure: This will ensure availability of robust data centers and deals with broadband expansion. The launch of the 2020 – 2025 Broadband Plan on March 20, 2020 will ensure that all undeserved areas shall have access to broadband services.
Service Infrastructure: This pillar will focus on facilitating digitization of activities that will find deeper expression in e-health, e-agriculture and other automated transactions.
Promotion of Digital Services: This shall ensure increased digitization of activities.
Software Infrastructure: This pillar shall focus on cyber-security awareness to ensure security of activities in the cyberspace.
Digital Society and Emerging Technologies. This pillar shall encourage start-ups to support our innovators, so they can deploy their inventions in Nigeria.
For us at the #UgwumbaLeadershipCenter, we salute #PresidentBuhari for this policy that shall move Nigeria to the next level of prosperity by allowing Nigerians to participate in the tech space and be able to explore myriads of opportunities in the ecosystem.
May be, we should break it down further, did you know that this policy shall eventually lead to the reduction in the costs of data for your browsing and the tariffs for your calls, be it #MTN, #Glo, #9Mobile, #Airtell, etc?
I think, Mr. President deserves some accolades, here… don’t you think so? Let’s have your comments here but remember to add these hashtags so that we can track them: #RebrandNigeria, #GiantofAfrica, #NigeriaMustBeBetter!