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Digital technology will foster economic growth, says Obaseki

By Eniola Daniel
21 January 2022   |   3:44 am
Nigerians have been urged to leverage the digital space to foster economic growth and increase the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

[FILES] Obaseki. Photo/ facebook/godwinobasekiofficial

Nigerians have been urged to leverage the digital space to foster economic growth and increase the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The call was made at a virtual technology forum, with the aim of making Nigerians optimise their potential and maximise the opportunity provided by digital technology.

Speaking at the seventh Mike Omotosho Annual Lecture, Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, said with the kind of disadvantage the country faces, the digital economy has to be a key leveller to aid the economic development process.

Obaseki said: “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.”

Obaseki stressed that to get people out of poverty, there is need to create wealth, reduce unemployment, and grow the country’s GDP and he country must focus on technology.

“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.”

The convener, Dr. Mike Omotosho, said digital transformation occasioned by COVID-19 technology is changing all major sectors and it is apparent that people can be efficient with the use of technology.

Omotosho added that it is crucial for the country to leverage digital innovations to boost the economy as the 26 richest people in the world made most of their money from digital intellectual properties.

“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.”