By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Federal government on Monday inaugurated a Committee for expert review of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, NDEPS.
Inaugurating the Committee, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami said the essence of the review was to allow private sector inputs that would make the policy easier for implantation for a digital Nigeria.
The Minister said the administration came up with the policy and strategy for digital Nigeria because countries all other the world are coming up with policies and strategies for digital economy with an estimated value of $16million, which is projected to take over 60% of the world economy by end of 2020.
‘‘The Digital economy has started to dominate the economy of the world. The value of digital economy is valued at over $16m. According to World Economic Forum, by 2020, 60% of the world’s economy is going to be digitalized.
Countries are coming up with policies and strategies for digital economy. It is because of this based on the wisdom of President Mohammadu Buhari that this idea of Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, NDEPS came about.’’
While charging the Committee to be prompt in ratifying the draft, Pantami charged them to review the NDEPS draft for a digital Nigeria 2020-2030, with special focus on deliverables under the policies and strategies.
He also charged the Committee to come up with effective implementation roadmap, looking at the policy and strategic aspect and see how that can be implemented effectively.
In addition, the Minister urged the Committee to come up with actionable plan on the things to be executed on the policy and strategy.
However, he told them that they were not restricted to the draft alone, but were free to bring in whatever they feel would be relevant to the policy, insisting that the committee is to make Nigeria not just a digital economy but globally competitive.
He also charged the Committee to take the 8 Pillars of NDEPS as a guide in the course of the two day exercise.
They include: Promoting Digital Literacy and Skills; Solid Infrastructure; Service Infrastructure; Digital Services, Promotion and Development and Software Infrastructure. Other are: Digital Society and Emerging Technology and promotion of Indigenous Content, Development and Promotion.
Pantami explained that the implementation of the policy was considered by the ministry ahead of the ratification by stakeholders because of time constraint usually associated with such critical policies.
‘‘We came up with this strategic committee, believing that two heads are better than one. In order to bridge the gap between public and private sector on one hand and the academia on the other hand.
‘‘When it comes to digital economy, I believe those in the private sector have a role to play more than those in the public sector because they are into it running very successful businesses.
‘‘Our perception in government is not same with the private sector, bringing them in will complement our efforts to implement the policy easily. They were carefully selected to make sure that all stakeholders are represented so that when it comes to implementation, it will be much easier.
‘‘We set up this committee to clear the misconception by stakeholders that regulation is only for unnecessary restriction. Under this pillar, regulation has a critical role to play. Under this, NCC and NITDA are expected to come up with subsidiary legislation instruments that will make our Digital Economy Policy and Strategy more implementable,’’ he said.
Recall that President Mohammadu Buhari had on 17th October, 2019, re-designated the ministry from Federal Ministry Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and on 23rd of October, 2019 the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, NDEPS was presented to the Federal Executive Council, FEC where it was announced officially.