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Developing the Nigeria Digital economy



Dr Adama Abubakar
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By Engr. Dr. Abubakar Adama PhD, FNSE, FTEMIC, Reng

Today, Nigeria is capturing only a fraction of its digital economic potential and will need to make strategic investments to develop a dynamic transformative digital economy.

The talk of digital economy revolves round applications of Information and Communications Technology. adsbygoogle || []).push({}); We talk of e-government, e-health, e-voting, e-commerce and so on.

The implementation of these digital services will depend on the level of penetration of the broadband communication networks in the country. The broadband is a general-purpose technology that significantly affects one’s life style, style of work and a key driver of economic growth.

With improvements in digital connectivity, digital skills, digital financial services and other core areas of digital development, Nigeria can fully unleash new economic opportunities, create jobs and transform people’s lives.

In 2012, President Goodluck Johnathan inaugurated the Presidential Committee for a National broadband Strategy and in 2013 a National Broadband Council was created under the chairmanship of the Hon Minister of Communications for implementations of the strategies so formulated by the Presidential Committee.

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In 2015, the Nigerian Communications Commission NCC proposed the transition of the economy into a digital economy, through investments in digital infrastructure, and more specifically broadband which is a key driver of digital growth.BENEFITS OF BROADBANDTo the user, it provides him/her with high-speed access for faster exchange of information or content.

Enables connections with multiple users in terms of economic benefits, broadband penetration has a positive impact on GDP of a country.

A key driver of economic growth, encourages innovation, stimulates growth in an economy and attracts foreign investment.

Improves productivity via growth of MSMESRemote monitoring (real-time online management of processes) On-line procurement, on-line shopping and electronic banking systems (e-commerce).

Improves return on investment due to increased volume of businessPublic service and businesses can conduct remote meetings instead of face-to-face meetings.E-education – educational materials and instructions can be broadcast to large numbers of locations simultaneously; E-health – medical practitioners can render remote diagnostics of ailments and provide drug prescriptions over the network.E-voting – we are used to the term electronic voting which is the ultimate voting method to be implemented by INEC.

Land registration systems (Geographic Information Systems)Transport Systems using ICT and GIS Services.E-agriculture E-tourism


The followings are the key stakeholders in Broadband Development.Federal Government – policies and monitoringStates – provide enabling environment and ICT infrastructure development. States would need to create Ministries of Digital Economy to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy for joint policy implementation.

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This will engender faster penetration of digital networks.Local Governments – Work with communities to reduce disruptions to infrastructure build and create schemes to encourage usage of the internet to enhance growth.

Executive and Legislative arms of GovernmentStrong Private Sector ParticipationThere are agencies like: NITDA, NCC, USPF, NIGCOMSAT Ltd, GALAXY BACKBONE, NIMC and NIPOST.CURRENT POSITION OF NIGERIA IN THE GROWTH OF HER DIGITAL ECONOMY.

Nigeria’s International connectivity is well developed, and there are new digital platforms available, such as the Galaxy backbone.

Nigeria is also committed to Universal Education, including providing digital skills training and it is home to several high-growth digital companies.

There is a vibrant ecosystem of digital entrepreneurship in Lagos and Abuja, fully supported by dynamic incubators, venture capital companies, digital start-ups and the diaspora.CREATION OF 1M JOBS IN ICT SECTORTalent SourcingInfrastructure-led support of Nigeria’s Commerce Industry, Tech Manufacturing.

Deliver broadband services to 90% of the population by 2027. This currently stands at45%. Government needs to review its stand on blockchain technology and crypto.

All the above can be achieved with:Less government interference. The government frequently acts as barrier rather than bridge for the technology sector. For example: The twitter ban which occurred some time ago and the CBN ban on crypto.Government in collaboration with the private sector will need to do much more in areas of infrastructure and policies.

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However, despite the conflicts between government and innovators the Nigerian tech Echo-system continues to grow.In 2022, Nigerian start-ups raised $1.1 B leveraging our position as the largest economy in Africa. Over 3,300 start-ups now operate in Nigeria.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy should: Focus on attaining required approvals for a rigorous transformation of the Tech echo-system.

Seek express approvals, Executive Directives and Empowerment to digitize Nigeria in areas of governance, Education, Health and Commerce. This will require effective infrastructure build-out and policy making.

The Federal Government, through the Ministry would need to work with the states to ensure that the Nigeria start-up law is domesticated in every state of the Federation.In summary, the Minister of Communications and Digital economy must focus on:Strong Policy initiatives.

Providing funding opportunities

Promoting research and development; fostering digital skills ensure necessary infrastructure roll-out.

He has to adopt policies that would attract massive private sector participation and collaborations.

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