Technological experts at the ongoing Lagos State Economic Summit (Ehingbeti), have stressed the need for governments to maintain policy consistency for technological innovations to drive development as Nigeria is gradually adjusting to the realities of the fourth industrial revolution.
This, according to them, would unleash innovation in a sustainable way and free the sector, which has been stiffened for years. The analysts opined that policy consistency will encourage innovation and stimulate sectoral growth.
Speaking during the session, the Commissioner for Economic and Budget Planning who is also a Co-chair of the summit, Mr. Samuel Egube explained that Ehingbeti was “about Lagos and not the State government. It is about the state to take certain actions and it is also to encourage the private sector to take actions”.
“This has created an ecosystem for both the public and private sector to partner and add value. The idea is not only about what the state government should do. Of course, there is a lot it should do, but what the private sector should do should also be discussed. Ehingbeti is a platform for both the state government and private sector to collaborate to achieve a common good,” he pointed out.
However, at one of the eighteen plenary sessions held at the conference today, panelists at “Unleashing Disruptive Innovation for Development”, were of the opinion that the government must allow flexible learning options and imbed digital technology into the educational curriculum.
Commenting on strategy that must be leveraged to lay the foundation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the state, Mr. Joseph Tegbe, partner, head of advisory, KPMG said.
“Fiscal tax incentives and tax waivers are important for technological innovators. Really, research and development incentives for technological innovation have not fully implemented in this country. This is something we need to look at especially for young startups that are leveraging creative technology and unleashing innovation.”
“Tax waivers even for local technological manufacturers are extremely important”.
“One thing that is also very critical is government consistency. We can put waivers in place, incentives in place; but if you implement tax and incentives in the first or two years, and there is a reversal of policy. That will mean three step forward six steps backward”.
“There is nothing more detrimental to policy than inconsistency. There should be clarity in policy, and once there is clarity, then you can hold all parties to their responsibilities”.
On her part, Alice Tomdio of Paystack, said there should be a massive drive to get young people involved at an early age, “If we want to transform Lagos, the idea starts from school. If you make people see this is viable, possible and there is value in working with software companies.