Attaining a sustainable development would continue to be a mirage if Nigeria fails to prioritise digital innovation and digital entrepreneurship, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami) has disclosed.
Prof. Pantami disclosed this while delivering his keynote address at the just concluded 10th Regular Meeting of the National Council on Communications and Digital Economy, (NCCDE) which took place at Ibadan, the Oyo State capital has its theme as “Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship as Panacea for Challenges to Sustainable Economic Development in Nigeria. The Council meeting is an assemblage of all ICT stakeholder policy formulators from all the 36 states.
The Minister maintained that the “entire digital economy sector revolves around digital innovation, digital entrepreneurship and development would continue to be “practically impossible” if preferences are not given to the two concepts.
He said, “The issue of sustainable development cannot be managed effectively without prioritising digital innovation and digital entrepreneurship. The economy of the world is no more about natural resource; it is all about talents and opportunities.
Describing the theme of the council meeting as “very apt and dear” to him, Prof. Pantami affirmed that digital innovation and digital entrepreneurship are the two major prerequisites to build a digital economy, adding that if one of the two is missing or not implemented, achieving a robust indigenous digital economy is not possible.
The minister also opined that population growth without a commensuration in the economy growth is also hindering sustainable development in the country. According to him, the panacea for this is to be productive especially in the area of digital innovation and entrepreneurship.
“Nigeria’s population is increasing and if it is productive digitally, attaining sustainable development is not going to be difficult but if the population is increasing in an unproductive manner, then the attainment of sustainable development would continue to elude us”, the minister noted.
Citing the United State of America and China as an example, he explained that the two countries have a digitally innovative population which accounts for them controlling the economy of the world, adding that Nigeria is blessed with a talented population but majority of them are misguided. “Only few leverage on their talent positively and contribute to the economic development at large.”
“Digital innovation is the key. It is all about the deployment of digital technologies to address existing problems through creativities and this is what is changing the world today and it is the bedrock of all industrial revolutions.
“Digital economy sector offers many opportunities and we must work hand in hand to ensure that we provide the foundation for a sustainable digital economy in Nigeria,” he added.
Prof. Pantami however, sued for the nationwide implementation of all the resolutions reached at the meeting.
“Some of the recommendations are to be implemented by the Federal Government and we would ensure they are being covered by us, some of the recommendations would require the implementation from the state and I do hope the representative from various state would ensure that what are for them are implemented because Digital Economy can not only be implemented at the federal level,” he noted.
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