Opeke: Digital Transformation Will Enhance Nigeria’s Growth

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By Emma Okonji

The CEO of MainOne Broadband Company and Chairperson of the 2020-2025 National Broadband Plan Committee, Ms. Funke Opeke, has stressed the need for more investments in Nigeria’s digital transformation drive in order to boost the country’s economic growth.

She cited the federal government’s target of connecting 70 per cent of Nigerians to broadband services by 2025, through the five-year National Broadband Plan (NBP) initiative, Opeke, who made the call in her opening remarks at the 5th edition of Nerds Unite 2020, an annual event organised by MainOne for tech professionals, held in Lagos at the weekend, said in the last 10 years, MainOne’s investments in digital transformation have changed the way businesses were managed in Nigeria and beyond.

“With more investments in digital transformation, contents will be available everywhere and the search for talents will not be limited to few cities in Nigeria.
“More government services will be online and contents will increasingly be available in local languages. More Nigerians will be online and Nigeria will be a big player in online transactions and communications.

“Through content development, new jobs will be created to drive the Nigeria’s digital economy, and we can achieve these with 4G broadband access,” Opeke said.

According to her, MainOne in 2015, launched the MDX-i data services in Nigeria, “and that was the tip of the iceberg about investments in digital transformation in Nigeria, because in the near future, Nigeria is expected to have several data centres spread across the country to meet the high demand for data centre services in the country.”

“With investments in digital transformation, the future is already here with us and MainOne is preparing its customers to take advantage of the digital transformation and leverage the new technology that MainOne is offering.

“Today, MainOne has launched its cloud services to further prepare customers for the digital transformation. The cloud services will help customers reduce cost by eliminating the purchase of certain hardware that could support their business, when they plug into MainOne’s cloud service offerings.”

The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Mr. Kashifu Inuwa, who represented the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami at the event, said: “The vision of the federal government is to transform Nigeria into digital economy, and to achieve the vision, NITDA has identified four strategic pillars.

“After Nigeria slide into recession in 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari came up with policies that will help diversify Nigerian economy from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based economy.
“The federal government has therefore identified ICT as an enabler in diversifying the Nigerian economy.”

Speaking on Nigeria’s readiness to embrace digital transformation during a panel session at the Nerds Unite 2020 event, the CEO, Verve International, Mr. Mike Ogbalu, said: “Nigerian cannot talk about digital transformation with adequate cloud service offerings because cloud computing is not only an alternative, but a sure way to achieving digital transformation.”

Business Group Director at Microsoft, Mr. Wale Olokodana, said: “Enterprises are ready to embrace digital transformation as they continue to build relevant capacities.” He however said there was need to digitally change the culture of organisations and their leadership styles in adopting cloud migration.

CEO, HPE Operated by Selectium, Mr. Ernest Sales, advised Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to embrace cloud services and scale up their businesses with the emerging technology solution.