Digital Technology Will Enhance Governance, Policy Formulation, Experts Say

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The adoption of digital technology will further enhance financial inclusion, good governance and improve policy formulation in Nigeria.

This was the assertion of participants at the ongoing 27th National Conference of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), holding in Ibadan, Oyo State.

The conference, therefore called on private sector organisations and government agencies to fast-track the process of adopting the emerging technologies that will boost digital inclusion across the country.

Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, stressed the need for governments at all levels to adopt digital technology, which he said would enhance good governance and policy formulation as well as create jobs for Nigerians. He said the ability of government to use key technology to create enabling business environment, would offer huge opportunities for the citizens. Ajimobi said the adoption of digital technology had helped his state to build a foundation of peace and security in the state, and to generate economic growth.

The Chief Executive Officer of MainOne, Ms. Funke Opeke, who corroborated the words of the governor, however stressed the need for digital infrastructure, if Nigeria must achieve digital inclusion.

According to her, without digital infrastructure, it would be difficult for Nigeria to achieve digital inclusion.
She said digital infrastructure level in the country was still low and must be increased to enable Nigerians have access to digital connectivity.

She said while developed countries were beginning pull down their 2G and 3G technology networks and are investing in 4G technology, Nigeria was still investing in 2G and 3G technologies in providing services to customers.

Citing Korea and other developed countries of the world that have 98 per cent internet connectivity in public places, with well distributed digital infrastructure, Opeke said Nigerian government and the private sector must invest in digital infrastructure that would give Nigerian citizens access to digital connectivity that will boost innovation.
Opeke, said government must review its policy on broadband infrastructure and redesign it in such a way that broadband rollout would be easy enough to provide ubiquitous broadband access to every Nigerian.

Speaking on the role of telecommunications operators in driving digital infrastructure, Opeke said the operators were already involved in shared infrastructure in order to deliver digital access to the underserved and unserved communities of the country.

President of NCS, Professor Adesola Aderounmu, said Nigeria still lags behind the rest of the world in digital inclusion, but however said NCS would identify the knowledge gaps, proffer solutions and instigate collaborative efforts to quicken the pace of digital inclusion in Nigeria.

An Intel Software Innovator, Tejumande Afonja, said Nigeria must build artificial intelligence and machine learning systems to enhance digital inclusion.