At GITEX2022, Tech Experts Laud Nigerian Digital Economy Transformation
Speakers at a panel discussion in the ongoing Gulf Information Technology Exhibition’, GITEX 2022, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, UAE, have commended the Nigerian government for its interventions towards the rapid development of digital economy infrastructure, in the country.
According to them, the Nigerian government’s efforts have significantly transformed the country’s Information Communication Technology, ICT, ecosystem, while also providing an enabling environment for brilliant tech innovations.
Their commendations were made after a presentation by the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Mal. Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, who joined the panel in discussing ‘Fintech Surge’.
One of the discussants in the session, and the Chief Finance/Digital Officer of Mobilink Microfinance Bank, Sardar Abubakr, expressed delight over Nigeria’s effort in supporting and promoting technological advancement in Africa.
“Guys you need to look at what is happening in Nigeria. The government over there is walking its talk. In just few years, the Nigerian FinTech ecosystem maintained its growth trajectory within the African continent with three more unicorns. This is very encouraging and inspiring,” Abubakr noted.
Another panel member and the Host of Be Mobile Africa, Dr. Cedric Jeannot, described Nigeria as a country that is very proactive in providing necessary infrastructure for development of home-grown technology, through effective regulatory frameworks.
Earlier in his presentation, Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, told the session that in realization of the importance of technology for national development, President Muhammadu Buhari, renamed Nigeria’s Ministry of Communication to cover Digital Economy, and appointed Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, a renowned ICT guru, as the Minister.
“And so far, the Minister has been transforming Nigeria’s digital economy sub-sector,” he said.
Kashifu also informed the participants that lawmakers had passed a Startup bill with a clear regulatory framework to operate confidently within the boundaries of the law. The bill accodig to him would also build and foster a climate that is favorable for the establishment of technology-enabled start-ups in Nigeria.
“Currently, our startups are doing fantastically well as the government provides conducive environment for the growth of the economy through coherent foundation policies for digital economy.
“The current administration in the country makes three main thrust to drive its agenda: that is digital identity, the payment system and connectivity. We have other noble policies including the Nigerian broadband plan, digital identity policy and national financial inclusion policy among others
“Our regulations are to safeguard the providers as well as consumers. Without providing the enabling environment, sometimes the ESG can be seen as selfcentric
“Recently, the Central Bank of Nigeria became the first in Africa to come up with a digital currency known as E-Naira after its consultations and collaborations with the ecosystem towards ensuring a safer and secured innovative drives.
The panel at the session on fintech surge noted that corporate organisation’s performance on environmental, social and governance (ESG) parameters has become increasingly critical because reputable investors and customers are scrutinising the record and initiatives taken by the management in these areas. On ESG, they agreed that businesses should focus on three core essentials: people, process, and product.