By Prince Osuagwu, Hi-Tech Editor
Rising from a low-key Independence anniversary, Sunday, the federal government yesterday unveiled plans to turn Nigeria fully into a digital economy.
The plan which spreads across five key economic pillars is said to have the capability to launching the country into the comity of nations that thrive in the digital age.
Unveiled by the new Minister of Communications, Innovation & Digital Economy, Dr. Tijani Bosun, the new plan revolves around Kwoledge, Policy, Infrastructure Innovation and Trade and will serve as tech economy development catalyst for four years.
Bosun titled the blueprint: Accelerating our Collective Prosperity through Technical Efficiency’ and expressed optimism that if the five pillars are critically exploited and development policies framed around them, in the next four years, the dividend will be a Nigeria with digital capabilities like most developed countries of the world.
Explaining how the five pillars will spur rapid development, Bosun said: “Knowledge: In our rapidly interconnected world, knowledge is the foundation upon which countries build a robust and sustainable economy. As a critical prerequisite, knowledge influences how we generate innovations and technologies that drive economic growth, expand the talent pool to drive competitiveness, improve productivity and inform evidence-based policymaking, amongst others.
“Policy: This highlights the fundamental role of policy in enabling innovation, entrepreneurship and inclusive growth. When properly designed and executed, the policy provides a platform for innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive. Effective policy provides regulatory clarity and necessary incentives for an environment where businesses and innovators are empowered to grow. Over the next four years, the policies will focus on encouraging investment, research and development and the protection of intellectual property.
“Infrastructure showcases the commitment to building the critical tool required to power a strong digital economy. We recognise that economic prosperity is linked to a robust digital foundation. Our emphasis on building stronger digital infrastructure extends beyond connecting people but also focuses on economic empowerment and creating opportunities for inclusion. With improved access to quality broadband, and upgraded critical services, this pillar will catalyse a digital transformation that impacts our entire population.
“Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Capital: In the rapidly evolving global technology landscape, innovation, entrepreneurship, and access to capital are critical components of a strong digital economy. This pillar provides a roadmap for Nigeria to harness the potential of the other three pieces as catalysts for the transformation of our digital economy. This pillar is the driving force behind the creation of an environment that encourages innovation, supports entrepreneurship and attracts the required capital to deliver on our ambitions.
“ Trade pillar embodies our commitment to position Nigeria as a major player in the African and global technology ecosystem. As a rapidly growing economy, with the ICT sector contributing 18.44% to Nigeria’s GDP in Q2 2022, and e-commerce spending projected to grow to $75 billion by 2025 (Statista), our primary goal is to enhance Nigeria’s participation in the global technology trade over the next 4 years. A core part of this pillar is our aim to improve Nigeria’s ranking in the ECI (Economic Complexity Index) Technology Index” .
He added that “this strategic blueprint articulates a vision for Nigeria that builds on the transformative power of digital technology and innovation to diversify and deepen our economy,” he said.