By Juliet Umeh
Critical stakeholders in the information and communication technology, ICT, have called on the federal government to intensify its effort in the provision of efficient, available, affordable, and easily accessible communications services across Nigeria.
The experts, who made the call, among others, at the 2020 Virtual Edition of the Nigeria Innovation Summit, said the promotion will provide investment opportunities for economic growth and development in post COVID-19 era.
The summit themed: ‘Innovating in Critical Times’ was organized by InnovationHub Africa while it had the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami and Executive Vice Chairman, EVC, of the Nigeria Communications Commission, Prof. Umar Danbatta, delivered the Keynote presentations.
Other speakers included Chair of the Board Nigeria-Canada Trade & Investment Noting that Nigeria cannot do without innovative technologies, which are characterised by emerging technologies, the stakeholders made other critical recommendations capable of driving great innovations in the country.
Other recommendations by the experts read: “New and evolving technologies are providing huge disruptions across every sector and Nigeria needs to position herself in Africa to lead the change by facilitating strategic collaborations and partnerships among all the critical stakeholders in her innovation ecosystem. “Such an ecosystem must be facilitated by the government in collaboration with the private sector, innovators, and academics, each playing their key role to build the ecosystem.
“For innovation to thrive as the anchor for accelerating economic growth, a robust broadband infrastructure upon which ICT innovations will ride is a necessity, especially for MSMEs for enhanced connectivity.
“NCC has continued to work assiduously with all the stakeholders in ensuring that the nation’s ICT infrastructure is able to meet the increased demand for connectivity and this must be maintained.
“Growing the digital economy required a safer cyberspace backed by strong programmed and policies aimed at fully supporting, promoting and implementing the national digital economy agenda.
“There is a need to building innovative businesses solutions and ecosystem development in Nigeria across all the sectors by driving innovation through promoting local content development, and also promoting locally-relevant technological solutions.
“There is a need for a collaborative platform for all the key innovation actors. A digital space that decentralises innovation to leverage the increasing mobility of knowledge and innovation that will greatly impart on the socio-economic development of Nigeria as it allows Nigeria the option to leverage local innovation to solve local issues.
“Launch of Open Innovation Nigeria project, and calls for sponsorship of innovation challenges that address needs in healthcare, agriculture, fintech, energy, education, and the using Emerging Technologies to solve any other challenging problems in Nigeria on corporate, state or federal levels,” the communiqué reads.
However, the summit ended with the presentation of Nigeria Innovation Awards to 10 Innovative Startups in Nigeria.
The recipients of the award were Farmcrowdy, 54gene, Flutterwave, kobo360, LifeBank, Paystack, Tizeti, PiggyVest, BuyCoins and NairaEx.