Monday , October 18 2021

Stakeholders urge govt to invest in digital economy



In an effort to benefit and compete on a global level, stakeholders have called on government at both the state and federal level to invest in digital economy.

The move which have tremendous economic value to add to the Nation’s GDP have to be deliberate with continuous improvement and flexible responses.

This was the resolution made at the maiden edition of Mobile and Disruptive Technology Forum (MoDiTECH2019) held in Lagos.

The Founder/Vice-Chairman of CWG Plc, Mr. Austin Okere quoted that in 2018, the mobile ecosystem contributed more than $500 billion to the funding of the public sector through general taxation, globally.

In his keynote presentation titled: ‘Social and Global Impact: Engaging for Growth’, Okere said Nigeria is among the three smartphone super-powers to emerge by 2025, stands to benefit from the smartphone ubiquity across the world that enables consumer engagement in numerous use cases.

Digital

According to him, “mobile is a powerful tool for achieving the UN’s SDGs: since 2015, impact has increased across all 17 SDGs. 5G is an inevitable network evolution and will create significant opportunities if the right conditions are in place.

He said, however, slowing unique subscriber growth, regulatory intervention and intense competition continue to put pressure on operators’ traditional mobile revenue.

“Over a fifth of the world’s markets will have launched 5G by 2020, spending combined $244 billion on networks in the process. In 2018, mobile technologies and services generated 4.6% of GDP globally, a contribution that amounted to $3.9 trillion of economic value added.

“The mobile ecosystem also supported almost 32 million jobs (directly and indirectly) and made a substantial contribution to the funding of the public sector,  with more than $500 billion raised through general  taxation. By 2023, mobile’s contribution will reach

“$4.8 trillion (4.8% of GDP) as countries around the globe increasingly benefit from the improvements in productivity and efficiency brought about by increased take-up of mobile services.

“Further ahead, 5G technologies are expected to contribute $2.2 trillion to the global economy over the next 15 years, with key sectors such as manufacturing, utilities and professional/financial services benefiting the most from the new technology.

“The mobile ecosystem directly employs almost 32 million people globally; 14 million directly and 17 million through related industries

To this end, Mr. Okere called on State Governments’ to invest in digital economy especially by removing excess taxation on Right of Way (RoW) adding that over the next few years, as the enablers of mobile internet adoption such as infrastructure, affordability, consumer readiness and content/services, continue to improve, millions of people will start using the mobile internet for the first time, and will add value to the nation’s economy.

Stressing that content consumption through the mobile channels, is rising with more people watching video on their devices for longer and more frequently, the Managing Director of Rack Centre and Chairman of MoDiTECH2019, Dr. Ayotunde Coker noted that mobile is a key driver in promoting digital economy.

Coker while speaking on the theme: “The Power of Digital Services”, stressed the importance of digitisation on the African continent, and “What it means for us in Africa is to leverage the lots of benefits we can get. Benefits in terms of demographic advantage”.

Digital economy

“The fourth industrial revolution is the next stage of digitisation with Africa has a focus; survival in the present economic structure is dependent on innovation. The journey of digitisation is now a way of life hence the demand for data has exponentially increased”, Rack Centre Boss explained.

On his part, the Managing Director of Global Accelerex, Mr. Tunde Ogungbade noted that this era has been disrupted by internet banking and smart phones that paved the way for 24/7 banking; “Prepaid cards, the POS, the ATMs and then debit cards linked to bank accounts”.

Ably represented by the Chief Product Officer, Global Accelerex, Chuks Anakudo, he, however advised the banks to brace-up for more disruptions as payments will even migrate from traditional banking to native apps and point-of-sales solutions.

Speaking on the topic, ‘Impact of Digital Solutions on Financial Services’, Ogungbade added that Blockchain technology will further disrupt financial services like the internet did to the media.

“Banks of the future may not need to hold funds in the vault, assets will be digitized in a more secured way. Therefore, the future to behold is closing the gap between what the financial institutions offer and what consumers really need”, said Mr. Ogungbade.

Meanwhile, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Garba Danbatta, said that through its regulatory excellence, the Commission is at the forefront of unleashing the digital economy that will spur industrial growth, job creation, and Return on Investment (RoI) for investors.

According to him, the internet is at the leading edge of digital revolution, which informed why NCC is supporting operators to deploy more infrastructure.

“Today, Nigeria has started a test-run of 5G, the latest technology for delivering broadband services and such other services as Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI). The trial will last for three months. Nigeria hopes to join other countries which are in a rush to deploy the 5G technology because of its immense promise for digital communication,” Danbatta said.

ALSO READ: Experts call for collective efforts on cyber security

Prof. Danbatta who spoke through Director, Technical Standards and Network Integrity at NCC., Engineer Bako Wakil, also disclosed that the Commission was “at the verge of sending the N65 billion request for supporting the already six infrastructure companies (InfraCos) licensed to roll out broadband infrastructure across the country, to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for approval”.

Meanwhile, Danbatta expressed concurrence of the Commission to the renaming of the Ministry of Communications to ‘Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy’.

“The renaming of the Ministry shows a demonstration of the future of telecoms in all government sectors and the economy; the EVC, therefore, commended the Minister, Dr. Isa Pantami and members of the Federal Executive Council for the foresight and dramatic change. This, will spur a new debate and redirect the Ministry and other agencies under it as well as the private sector to a new awakening that digital economy brings,” he added.


About Bukola Olanrewaju

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