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2019 elections: ICT missing as politicians chase shadows

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Issouf Sanogo (AFP/File)

Another general election is around the corner, and as usual presidential aspirants are not talking about how to use information and communications technology (ICT) to underpin Nigeria’s regeneration, proffering instead to focus on the same political gimmicks that now sound like broken records.

ICT professionals worry and have urged greater focus by the aspirants on ICT to hasten the rebuilding of the country’s economy hobbled by years of mismanagement and neglect.

But politicians seemingly unconcerned have continued to marshal out their governance agenda and leadership qualities and occasionally slinging mud at rivals.

Though all the aspirants anchored their campaigns so far on promises to fight corruption, job creation, improvement on security of lives and properties and the overall improvement in standard of living, none however has said how these would be achieved.

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The lack of attention on details can wreck some of the aspirants’ political campaigns particularly now that Nigerians are tired of their oratories and undelivered promises in the past.

Frank Durumba, a direct marketing consultant said that most of the aspirants have launched high tech campaign strategies to woo voters and sell their candidatures but have not said a word about how to tackle the menace of internet scams that have earned the country notoriety as a fraud haven.

“From day one, the aspirants should have been talking cyber policing, fighting online crime and child protection online and so on,” Durumba said.

Benson Akuche, ICT and investment expert based in the United States of America said “the aspirants have all got off on the wrong foot. At this stage, there is no mention of specific issues. They should be talking in clear terms how they intend to deliver good governance”.

“I expect to be hearing how an aspirant intends to make broadband internet, the life wire of development. Broadband is already a basic right in some country but has remained largely under developed in Nigeria, because of the unseriousness of successive governments,” Akuche added.

Also, taxation on ICT is hurting fresh investment in the only thriving sector and no aspirant has said anything about how to address the indiscriminate quest for internally generated revenue from the telecoms industry by all tiers of government.

Aspirants should be talking about the redesigning the educational curriculum, creation of ICT parks/innovation hubs to create new ICT entrepreneurs capable of leap-frogging the country’s growth should have formed part of the agenda of the aspirants.

Any aspirant who is talking about ICT and the promises they possess will win hearts because, ICT presents Nigeria the rare chance to join the league of the fastest developing countries of the world.


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Benson AkucheICT
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