Leader of the Nigerian delegation to the on-going LEAP Technology Conference and Exhibition in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), has called on global economies particularly, member states of the Digital Cooperation Organisation (DCO) to prioritise and adopt collaborative strategies and initiatives as a vital part of the efforts to achieve digitalization.
Professor Pantami made the call on while speaking at a special DCO high-powered panel session titled: Deep Dive:The Road To International Digital Economy Through Innovation-Bridging Digital Divides And Breaking Down Barriers.
“In my opinion, the way other countries can benefit from the progress we have made so far, is through collaborations and partnerships. There is no monopoly of wisdom and knowledge, your strength could be the weakness of your neighbour and your weakness could be the strength of your neighbour. Through partnerships and collaborations, we can complement each other. DCO has been established in order to support, collaborate and partner with each other because, our strength is in our unity. When members of the DCO agree to take a certain position, there is no institution in the world that will not listen to them”.
He further emphasized that “developing a digital economy is hinged on two factors; digital innovation and entrepreneurship”.
Responding to enquiries by the DCO Secretary General, Ms Deema Yahya, who also moderated the session on the strategies adopted by Nigeria in its digital success story, the honourable Minister noted that digital innovation, digital entrepreneurship and enabling policies have been the bedrock of the fastest growing sector in the Nigerian economy. “The Nigerian government has established twenty one national policies which are in full effect to encourage development in the sector, the establishment of a National Centre for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, aggressive investments in digital skills capacity building including championing a paradigm shift of prioritizing skills over unproven certificates are some of the initiatives we have explored in developing the sector in Nigeria”.
Speaking on the sector’s score card, Professor Pantami highlighted the significant increase in revenue generation, a consistent increase in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which currently stands at 18.44%, an unprecedented increase in the national data base which had remained at thirty nine million for thirteen years to ninety five million within two years and three months, ICT intervention centers, digital skills acquisition among others.
Recall that a recent independent assessment of the sector, conducted by KPMG and DCFO returned an unprecedented pass mark for the sector.