By Emma Okonji
The President of the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), Prof. Adesina Sodiya, has stressed the need for Nigerians to embrace technology in order to drive digital transformation in the country.
Sodiya, who spoke at a recent paper presentation, said no nation would benefit from the emerging and disruptive technologies such as Internet of things (IoTs), Big Data Analytics, Smart City, Blockchain Technology, Robotics, Artificial Intelligent (AI), without a new way of digital culture.
According to Sodiya, “Digital culture is a new way of life that borders on the reliance on ICT tools for the effective functioning of the society.
“Generally, it has to do with how people interact with technology in their workplaces and lives. Digital culture refers to a new culture that emanated from the emergence and continuous adoption of digital technologies in all aspects of our lives.
“The disruptions triggered by the outbreak of the Covid-19 worldwide have great impact on all aspects of our lives. Industries such as education, business, transportation, commerce, mass communication, among others, were not spared.
“In fact, the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that these industries need to leverage more on technology for continuity and survivability.
“Others industries that require physical contact are worst hit. For instance, sports, a billion dollars industry was completely brought to a halt worldwide.
“The economies of individuals; small-scale and large-scale businesses; corporate organisations and governments all over the world have been affected negatively by the impact of the pandemic.”
He, therefore said remote technologies such as teleworking, telecommuting, crowd-sourcing, telemedicine, among others, including online platforms such as e-commerce, e-collaboration, e-meeting, e-conferences, webinar, were now gaining tremendous attention.
“Covid-19 has reawakened the digital culture in Nigeria and called for the need to develop urgent strategies for strengthening it. For Nigeria to progress well in this right and necessary direction, we need total determination and commitment in scaling up our digital culture and interaction,” Sodiya added.
He argued that the essential ingredients of digital culture were digital literacy, digital inclusion and digitalisation.
He also explained that with the effort of government and NCS, the level of digital literacy in Nigeria continue to improve, but further explained that we are not there yet, if we have to compare our digital development with other nations.
Sodiya added that, “Digital literacy promotes digital adoption and is a necessity for development. All areas of our lives such as education, agriculture, health, tourism, science, commerce, transportation, construction, and production, will perform better with enhanced digital skills of citizens and workers.
He said government must continue to support and provide enabling environment for improved digital literacy in this country, adding that for over a decade now, NCS has been promoting digital inclusion and will continue to lead its advocacy.
Though Nigeria has targeted broadband penetration of 70 per cent by 2025, a lot still need to be done to move to that level from the present penetration rate of 43 per cent, Sodiya said.
He, however, explained that digital culture could be further sustained by embracing digitalisation effectively, while describing digitalisation as the use of digital technologies to upgrade our individual and business processes.
“Nigeria as a country needs to adjust to the essential ingredients of digital culture in order to continue to benefit from digital transformation. “We certainly need to enhance our attitudes and orientations to digital technologies. Both the government and the governed must fully readjust and submit totally to the zero option digital transformation,” Sodiya said.
He stressed that enhancing digital culture remained the responsibility of everybody and that everyone must continue to direct efforts toward it.
He, however, pledged the support of NCS to continue to provide necessary technical support to individuals, corporate organisations, government at all levels and all other agencies of government saddled with the responsibility of digital transformation in Nigeria.