January 28, 2023

Okonjo-Iweala, Pantami, Adebayo, others to attend NACCIMA Digital Economy Conference

By Gabriel Ewepu, Abuja

THE Director General, World Trade Centre, Dr Nogozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Aliyu Pantami, Minister of Federal Ministry of Trade, Industry and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Minister Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, Pauline Tallen, and President Afrexim Bank, Prof Benedict Oramah, among dignitaries to attend the maiden edition of the Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) Conference and Exhibition in Abuja.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Media/Strategy Officer, ACCI, Olayemi John-Mensah, where it was also made known theme of that the maiden Conference and Exhibition, ‘Promoting a Vibrant Digital Economy: A Catalyst for Economic Growth in Nigeria’ geared towards promoting a vibrant digital economy in Nigeria is scheduled for Tuesday 31st January, 2023.

According to the statement, the conference will be declared open by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, which would also amongst other things expantiate on the strength and quality of the technology for economic development.

The conference would attract stakeholders in the ICT sector to brainstorm on how to achieve greater results for the business community for the development of the economy.

The conference is scheduled to hold on 31st January, 2023 at the Trade and Convention Centre, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Abuja.

Meanwhile, the statement quoted the National President, NACCIMA, Ide John Udeagbala, who is the organiser of the conference ahead of the conference saying that, “The digital economy allows us to share information and communicate beyond our borders, technology is fundamental to the digital economy.”

Udeagbala pointed out that NACCIMA has made harnessing technology and the digital economy one of the key areas of focus of the Association.

He also said in carrying out its mandate to promote the interests of the private sector through advocacy, “The Association is organising this conference to bring together public and private sector stakeholders in the digital economy.

“This is geared towards intimating NACCIMA members and the general public on the existing and pending policies that affect the digital economy, identify challenges, proffer solutions, and establish a roadmap to implementation.”

Meanwhile, the NACCIMA boss explained that aims of the conference include bringing together public and private sector stakeholders in the digital economy and brainstorm, to establish the potential of the digital economy to promote job creation and increase foreign exchange earnings through existing and new platforms such as accelerators, incubators, digital hubs and others and to identify challenges currently faced by the tech ecosystem and the policy gaps that exist, to identify existing government policies that promote the growth of tech ecosystems and the challenges impeding their effective implementation.

He (Udeagbala) pointed out that the digital economy is a form of ‘transaction’ driven by the public and private sectors as well as individuals to produce, adopt and innovate digital technology and services related to socio-economic functions and services to enhance wealth, productivity and quality of life.

He maintained that in “this technology age, nearly all of us communicate via the internet especially through various social networking platforms such as; LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, WeChat, others, thereby making information needed to be at our fingertips.”

He also counseled that the internet or the digital economy should not be limited to conversation, to how fast information can be channeled online, but also quality and coverage of broadband services, the availability of digital infrastructure and the strength of the digital workforce.

“The conference is to look at the challenges of the digital economy and ways it affects businesses in Nigeria and to charge a way for effective use of the internet to facilitate business growth for the development of the economy.

“The entrepreneurial community, especially those running Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) rely on this platform to grow their businesses effectively. The digital economy provides them the opportunity to close the marketing gap and even expand their market. Providing solutions to the challenges of internet facilities would go a long way in addressing most issues facing the SMEs sector in Nigeria.”

He also emphasized that business owners view the internet not just as a means of communicating with their customers, but also as a medium to broaden their profits in a larger market, because the internet offers immense potential in numerous fields particularly in commerce.