By Stanley Iwuoha
Stakeholders in the Digital Economy Sector have expressed satisfaction with the celebration of the the maiden edition of the Digital Nigeria Day, describing it as the birth of a new dawn.
The day was celebrated to mark the United Nations World Development Information Day, with the theme: Digital Economy A New Frontiers For Economic Prosperity.
Speaking on the celebration, the stakeholders commended the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami for the initiative, saying that it aligned perfectly with the policy strategy of federal government.
In his remarks, President of the Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Engr Gbenga Adebayo noted that such novel initiatives and strategies was capable of catapulting the sector to greater heights.He commended the Minister for his tireless efforts in initiating and driving the Digital Economy Policy to the expected destination.
In his own remarks, President of the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria Teniola Olusola described the event as a dream come through and commended Pantami for the synergy in the sector, particularly in the resolution of conflicts which have ushered some unprecedented advancements in the sector.
He hailed Pantami as a resilient goal getter who has continued to provide the needed leadership to the sector and an enabling environment for investors to thrive. He pledged the support of his association and indeed, the sector as a whole, to the policies and initiatives of the government.
On his part, the Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, Prof. Umar Garva Danbatta said the celebration was a demonstration of his commitment to adopting digital culture in Nigeria.
He said access and connectivity had merged and must be leveraged for future growth and encouraged Nigerians to entrench digital culture.
The Director General of NITDA, Mallam Inuwa Kashifu Abdullahi, “we have been able to turn challenges I to delight in terms of implementation of Digital Nigeria policy and grow the sector to 17.83% of the economy.”
He urged youth to join in the journey so that we can create a Digital Nigeria.
For President of Certified Computer Manufacturers of Nigeria, Engr. Adenike Abudu, the association expects manufacturing economy, which he said remains the bedrock of strong economies.
According to him, all hands must be on deck for the Nigerian economy to compete in the emerging economy.
Second Vice President of ISPON, Bimbo Abioye, said there was no alternative to digitization.
“We have imbibed culture if siphoning money abroad. We in the private sector need to feel the impact of procurement activities of the public sector because we do not feel them at all.”
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Galaxy Backbone, Prof. Abubakar Mohammed, said what stood out in the digital policy is the implementation strategy of the administration.
He said the future will be bright if we continue the way we are doing now.
In his own remarks, Dr Pantami said it was imperative for Nigeria to join the world in celebrating this day as the country has recorded giant strides in its digitalization efforts.
He disclosed that the eight pillars of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy are all inclusive and take adequate cognizance of all sectors of the economy.
Pantami disclosed that the Ministry has put in place the necessary foundation to ensure a solid and robust digital economy as Digital skills take precedence over all considerations in today’s global society.
He also emphasized the need for preference to be given to indigenous IT products and services in line with Executive Orders 003 and 005 and called on indigenous innovators who feel unjustly sidelined in the procurement of IT services, to draw the attention of the relevant authorities in seeking redress.
The Minister called on all stakeholders to partner and collaborate with the Ministry in its effort to digitalise the Nigerian Economy. It will be recalled that the United Nations resolution earmarked the 24th of October as the World Information Development Day.