By Emma Okonji
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim Pantami has stressed the need for partnerships and collaboration among industry stakeholders, in order to achieve Nigeria’s digital economy dream faster than imagined.
Pantami gave the advise during this year’s National Information Technology Merit Awards (NITMA), organised by the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), the umbrella body of all Information Technology professionals and interest groups, which held recently in Lagos.
Pantami who was represented by the Head, e-Governance Strategy, at the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Vincent Olatunji, said the country’s digital transformation agenda, using digital tools, cuts across all sectors of the Nigerian economy and that no sector can claim monopoly of it and no particular sector can achieve it alone without collaboration with other sectors.
“So there is need for partnerships between government and the private sector, and among the private sector players, to achieve digital transformation much faster.
The effect of COVID-19 has forced technology solution developers to come up with innovative ideas and solutions to cushion the effect and to help Nigeria achieve her digital transformation agenda, so collaboration becomes key.
“Government on its part, is doing everything possible to ensure hitch-free digital transformation agenda, through the launch of various initiatives like the National Digital Economic Policy and Strategy, which the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy is currently implementing,” Pantami said, adding that Nigeria must tap from the global digital economy policy that is worth over $11 trillion, through collaboration.
The Managing Director of First Bank, Dr. Adesola Kazeem Adeduntan, who chaired the award event, but was represented by the Executive Director, Corporate Banking at First Bank, Mr. Remi Oni, said he could attest to the fact that the bank owed its survival largely to Information Technology (IT), stressing that technology, which is driven by professionals who are largely from NCS, no doubt, has enhanced businesses in the financial sector and across other sectors of the Nigerian economy.
“Therefore, the idea of NCS to award Nigerians who have contributed immensely to the growth of IT development in the country, is commendable. First Bank will continue to leverage technology to better serve the large population of its customers and we have initiated various ideas, using technology to move millions of Nigerians to our online activities. We will continue to use technology to offer seamless services to our growing customer base,” Adeduntan said.
In his welcome address, the President of NCS, Prof. Adesina Sodiya, said:
“Annually, NCS, through NITMA, recognises and celebrates excellence and commitment in IT profession. The advocacy efforts of NCS, which is geared towards achieving sustainable development in Nigeria, will not be complete without recognising excellence and exceptional professionals who are using technology to make significant impact in the industry and society.”
Chairman, NTMA Planning and Organising Committee, Mr. Femi Williams, acknowledged all the awardees, adding that the recognition is a call to do more for the country at large, especially now that Nigeria is working towards achieving her digital transformation goals.
Highlights of the awards, were the conferment of the IT Personality of the Year Award to the Group Managing Director of FinTrak Software Company, Mr. Bimbo Abioye; The Digital Governor of the Year Award to the Executive Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal; while Professional Fellowship Awards were conferred on 38 members of NCS, who have distinguished themselves in various endeavours.