The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has harped on the need to efficiently deploy technology to grow the nation’s economy, leveraging the digital space to place the country on the path of sustainable growth and development.
Speaking at the seventh edition of the Mike Omotosho Annual Lecture, with the theme, “Digital Economy: A panacea for National Growth,” Obaseki identified technology as pivotal in the country’s quest for economic advancement.
The governor, at the virtual technology forum aimed at making Nigerians optimise their potential and maximise the opportunity provided by digital technology, said Nigeria must leverage the digital space to foster economic growth and increase the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Obaseki noted that with the kind of disadvantage the country faces, the digital economy has to be a key leveler to aid the economic development process.
According to him, “Since 2020, the world has centrally changed; this new economy has become a lot more remarkable and significant. The majority of Nigerians deliberately participate in the digital economy through the use of the telephone.
“With the smartphone penetration and other electronic devices, the digital economy and its activities create millions of dollars for countries and the economy globally and this is what we now refer to as the new economy.”
“The very medium of our interaction today is digital and it is based on technology that has been accelerated as a result of the restrictions we found ourselves during the COVID-19 pandemic. This has affected businesses globally and locally and created jobs. In fact, one of the few areas of significant growth witnessed since 2020 is the area of technology,” he added.
The governor restated that to get people out of poverty, the country must focus on technology to create wealth, reduce unemployment, and grow the nation’s GDP.
“It might not just be one magic wand, but clearly technology has a role to play in helping us rethink our economy and foster growth. First and foremost, we have to think about data and think about new technology. Interestingly, digital technology is applicable to almost every aspect of our life. We must think very carefully as we lay out a digital strategy for our country,” Obaseki said.
On his part, the convener, Dr. Mike Omotosho noted, “The sky is the limit as long as we do it right. I said this because digital solutions can have a transformation effect on the economy. To do it right, we need to be intentional, we need to work closely with stakeholders, compile the detailed list of what is available, put it down so that it will not be too overwhelming and ensure the content is easily available to all and sundry.”