By Emma Okonji
The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu has said the present administration is set to leverage the benefit of the digital revolution and the huge potential of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to drive development in the digital smart Nigeria project.
Adebayo made the disclosure recently, while addressing delegates at the opening ceremony of the just concluded 14th Innovation Africa Digital Summit 2016 held in Abuja.
The three day summit with the theme: ‘Harnessing Africa’s Digital Growth’, was Africa’s leading ICT Business Summit with over 500 senior executives across government, regulatory bodies, telecoms operators and major end users of ICT products, in attendance from Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
Explaining the rationale behind the administration’s decision to unlock positive growth using digital platforms, Adebayo said the federal government has developed a roadmap soon to be unveiled that will help it achieve exceptional growth through the ICT, in the smart Nigeria project.
According to the minister “ICT has changed the course of history and added value to all that we do, and it is important that Nigeria take advantage of ICT to boost national development”.
Speaking on the importance of the summit, MTN Executive, Amina Oyagbola, represented by the General Manager, Northern Region, MTN Nigeria, Mr. Adekunle Adebiyi, said it was another opportunity for Africa to understand the potentials of ICT and to take advantage of such potentials in growing the economy of the region.
According to Oyagbola, “there continues to be an increasing optimism in international circles about Africa’s potential for growth and development. From education to financial inclusion, agriculture to solid minerals, e-government to mobile health, ICT is a fulcrum for ensuring maximum impact across key elements involving people, processes and productivity. ICT can retool and up-skill people in every sector, upgrade processes for greater operational efficiency and enhance productivity for stronger growth while attracting further investment.”
Delivering the goodwill message from the Presidency, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal said the summit would herald a new dawn in a progress driven development through ICT as the federal government duly recognises the role of ICT in fostering a viable development.
“We are proud to be part of the Innovative Africa Digital Summit 2016 because we believe in its potentials to contribute to our national and regional development,” Lawal said.
Other African countries represented at the summit included Sierra Leone, Lesotho, Ethiopia, Ghana and Cameroun.