Stories by Bukola Olanrewaju
In a move to harness available opportunities for global development in the country, stakeholders in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) industry have condemned federal government agencies over poor implementation and adoption of digitalization.
These resolutions were made at the just concluded eWorld forum in held in Lagos during the weekend entitled “The Readiness of Nigeria for Digital Transformation”.
Speaking at the function, the chief executive officer, Internet Exchange Point of Nigeria (IxPN), Mr. Muhammed Rudman, who is also the chairman of the occasion noted that government must ensure comprehensive implementation and continuous follow up of digital revolution in the country.
According to him, “advanced technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), big data, automation, self-driving cars and artificial intelligence, have been projected to affect about 50 percent of the world economy, accounting partly for some outcomes of the application of digital technologies.
“Government has a strategic roadmap towards digital transformation, which should be developed with input from all stakeholders. To ensure its comprehensive implementation, government must establish follow-up mechanisms for continuous assessment, monitoring and evaluation of progress.”
Muhammed also tasked the federal government to eradicate all bottlenecks militating against Nigeria’s digital transformation and connectivity such as high taxes, lack of power supply, inconsistent policies by government, high interest rates and prohibitive prices for internet access, among others.
In addition, the Chief executive Officer e-stream Network, Mr. Muyiwa Ogungboye, lamented the lack of government will power to promote digital technologies in the global system.
Muyiwa explained the concept of digitalization as the driving tool that enhances acceleration of business activities, processes, competencies and models into fully leverage of technologies.
“Digital Transformation (DT) is not necessarily about digital technology, but about the fact that technology, which is digital, allows people to solve their traditional problems in a faster, easier and measurable manner” he said.
According to Muyiwa, “The Readiness of our country for Digital Transformation rests largely with all tiers government, relevant government agencies be it at federal, state and local government, the players in the Nigerian Telecom Industry, foreign investors, financial institutions and behavioural pattern of other industry that are expected to be digitally savvy and the generality of consumers.
“We cannot discuss the readiness of Nigeria for Digital Transformation without considering actions and inactions of those aforementioned variables as they all have key role to play in determining our readiness to adopt digital transformation as a way of life.
However, Muyiwa commended Nigerian Communications Commissions and National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) for their efforts to position Nigeria at the forefront of digital development so as to massively enjoy its numerous benefits. He therefore stressed that there is lot to be done for true digital transformation to take place despite showing readiness.
On his part, the president of Association of Licensed Telecommunication Companies of Nigeria (ALTON),Engr. Gbenga Adebayo ably represented by the Regulatory & Legal Committee Chairman, Mrs. Eno Udoma-Eniang stated that digital transformations can only be properly enabled with the right infrastructure in place.
“To aid digitization there is need for deployment of infrastructure to enable speed of broadband delivery and quality of service, not without the attendant bottlenecks. Whilst businesses in eCommence; eHealth; eAgriculture and the rest may be coming up with better digital innovation.
“Digitally driven businesses are not just the new normal; they are the new order of doing things to catch up with the global trends of commerce and way of life.
“There cannot be digital transformation when basic infrastructures to drive the revolution are not in place.
Adebayo bemoan Nigeria sluggishness to fully embrace digital transformation in all its services execution, therefore urge Federal Government to stop playing “catch up games”.
“Therefore, we call on Government at each level to support the massive deployment of telecom infrastructure in their domain for efficient digital transformation of their day to day activities by looking at the long-term benefits of all the infrastructure in place for better service delivery to the citizen,” he addressed.
Reacting to this, the Director General of NITDA, Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami ably represented by the Head, South-West Zonal Office, Mrs Chioma Okee – Aguguo said the agency has came up with a Roadmap and an Action plan to ensure the development of the ICT sector and to digitally transform the nation.
“In addition to our efforts in the area of IT clearance, we have also prepared a number of standards, guidelines and frameworks for IT users in both the public and the private sector. These include standards and guidelines for data protection and government websites, amongst others”, Pantanmi noted.