Envisaging businesses might never return to the ‘old normal’, building data- and technology-driven resilience has become much more pressing than ever. As a result, experts believed technology deployment is the key to economic recovery and sustainability across the world.
The global pandemic has both accelerated the pace of digital transformation for industries and society and also unlocked new development opportunities for the digital economy.
This was unanimously agreed upon by stakeholders at this year’s Information Communications Technology and Telecommunications Expo (ICTEL EXPO) held virtually organized by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) themed Exploring Opportunities in the Digital Economy – The New Reality’.
In her welcome address, Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI noted that nations across the globe have continued to face dwindling growth occasioned by the pandemic. Today, virtually, all sectors, leverage ICT for optimal performance.
According to her, there is no better time to explore the opportunities provided by the digital economy than now when every nation is seeking ways to overcome the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking further, Mabogunje stressed that Nigeria as a nation must explore the opportunities provided by the pandemic and help get the economy back on track through Information and Communication Technology.
“The Covid-19 pandemic provides enormous potentials yet to be tapped. We must find a way to unveil these potentials through the ICT sector, which has seen Nigeria witnessed a phenomenal growth over the past two decades. The ICT sector remains one of the most resilient sectors of the Nigerian economy even in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic. This Expo is one of the major platforms that offer opportunities to unlock these potentials,” she said.
“This is evident in the financial services sector, where almost all banking transactions are conducted through digital channels, the agriculture sector, where sophisticated technologies, such as robots, temperature and moisture sensors, aerial images and global positioning systems, the GPS technologies, are largely employed”, she said.
“As a foremost private sector body in Nigeria today, established since 1888, the Lagos Chamber is providing, through this expo, an incredible platform, to advance the opportunities and linkages in the world of ICT”, she noted.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, ably represented by the Executive Secretary, Universal Service Provision Fund, Mr. Ayuba Shuaibu emphasized that Nigeria cannot afford to miss out on the digital economy is creating opportunities in the emerging world.
On his part, Pantami stressed that the new reality is that the digital transformation of our economy has become imperative for sustainable national development.
“As predicted by the World Economic Forum, over 60 percent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will be digitized by 2022 and that over the next decade, digital platforms will be used to create close to 70 percent of new value.
“Digital revolution is changing lives and societies with unprecedented speed and scale, delivering immense opportunities as well as associated challenges.
“Globally, businesses are shifting from brick and mortar form to innovative enterprises driven by digital technologies and now is the time for business, enterprises and organizations, to reinvent and automate, to fit into the global digital economy”. he said.
The Managing Director, MainOne Cable, Funke Opeke in her keynote address called from more governmental support for the ICT industry in Nigeria.
“Looking at private sector participation in Nigeria and the challenges we face as an economy, especially, with the recession, with the deep growth rate and high inflation economy that we have and I, think the recognition, globally that growth across the world can only be fueled by digital adoption in the years to come,” She said.