Experts in the information and technology (IT) industry sector have called on the federal government to formulate and implement policies that will enable Nigerians take full advantage of the on-going digital transformation sweeping across the globe.
They made the call at the 9th edition of the e-World forum themed: “ Nigeria’s Readiness for Digital Transformation, which was held in Lagos recently.
The Chief Executive Officer of IXPN, Mr. Mohammed Rudman, in his opening speech explained that the forum was targeted at underscoring the need for the Nigerian government, corporate organisations and individuals to digitally prepare and transform their systems to achieve their stated visions.
“Digital transformation is hitting the world in a big way, no business can thrive without incorporating technology in its core strategy. As we move towards the more digital world, the government needs to look beyond the digitisation of existing processes and service .They need to harness the power of digital technologies and data to transform their existing business models in order to meet the increasing appetite and expectation of rising digital consumer by adopting new technologies in the way business is conducted,” Rudman said.
According to him, government must have a strategic road map towards digital transformation which should be developed with input from all stakeholders. To ensure its comprehensive implementation, they must establish follow up mechanisms for continuous assessment, monitoring, and evaluation of progress.
On his part, the Director-General, NITDA, Ali Pantami, who was represented by Mrs. Chioma Oke- Agugua in his speech, noted that as a regulator of the IT sector, NITDA is at the fore front of digital transformation in Nigeria.
“Regulation provides a level playing ground that is required for the ICT industry to support in the digital transformation of the country. As part of our activities in this area, we have strengthened our roles in the clearance of all government funded ICT projects. At NITDA, we recognise the importance of having a digital literate society and we are supporting human capacity building effort to enable us realise this,” Pantami said.
The Managing Director, eStream Networks, Mr. Muyiwa Ogungboye in his contribution explained that the readiness of the country for digital transformation rests largely with all tiers government.
Speaking further, he said 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, must be digitally empowered to drive digital transformation in Nigeria.
Pantami stressed the need for the will power of government and the consistent awareness creation among citizens through forums like the eWorld Forum, to address situations like the understanding of what to do, how to do it and the results that is expected for the generality and well-being of the citizens, to accelerate Nigeria’s digital transformation process.
The Chairman, Regulatory Committee of Association of Licensed telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), Mrs. Eno Udoma-Inyang noted that for government and businesses to play a part in the industrial revolution, they must transform digitally.
She said: “We call on government at each level to support the massive deployment of telecoms infrastructure in their domain for efficient digital transformation of their day- to- day activities by looking at the long term benefits of all the infrastructures in place for better service delivery to the citizens.”