Nigeria: 'Digitisation Will Drive Socio-Economic Benefits, Create Jobs'

26 September 2019

The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, has stressed the need for private and public sectors to embrace digitisation.

This, he said would drive and enable socio-economic benefits in the country, while creating more Jobs.

Danbatta, who gave the assertion during his keynote address at the Business Journal Second Annual Lecture And Awards, which held recently in Lagos, said: "The role of innovation for growth is strengthened by advances in new technologies, and a greater focus on knowledge creation. Indeed, the more advanced a country becomes in terms of digitisation, the greater the benefits."

The NCC boss who was represented by the Director, Public Affairs at NCC, Dr. Henry Nkemadu, listed the concepts that would transit the country into digital Nigeria to include Digitisation, Digitilisation and Digital Transformation.

The three concepts often intertwined or used interchangeably, but with distinct definitions, he said.

He explained digitalisation as the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities, and the process of moving to a digital business.

He further described digitisation as the process of converting information into a digital format, where information is organised into discrete units of data that can be separately addressed. Digitalisation is therefore transforming relevant digital information into business and economic activities that drives national growth and development, Danbatta said.

He defined digital transformation as the profound and accelerating transformation of business activities, processes, competencies and models to fully leverage the changes and opportunities of digital technologies and their impact across society in a strategic and prioritised way.

"Digital transformation requires a much broader adoption of digital technology and cultural change. Digital transformation is more about people and about digital technology.

"It requires organisational changes that are customer-centric, backed by leadership, driven by radical challenges to corporate culture, and the leveraging of technologies that empower and enable employees," Danbatta said.

The Chairman of the 2019 annual lecture, Mr. Tope Smart, who is also the Chairman of Nigeria Insurers Association, spoke on the need for a robust Information and Communications Technology (ICT) infrastructure as part of network strategy to develop the economy and drive digitisation.

In his welcome remarks, the Publisher/CEO, Business Journal, convener of the lecture and award forum, Prince Cookey, said the forum was designed to address the opportunities and challenges of digital disruption on various sections of the Nigerian economy under theme: "Digital Nigeria: The Path to Sustainable Economic Growth."

According to Danbatta, Digital Nigeria has become a reality and not a myth, having contributed 13.86 per cent to the GDP, as at second quarter of 2019. "The ICT Sector in Nigeria has attained remarkable milestones in ensuring that the sector continues to play a great role in Nigeria's economic diversification and sustainability.

"This is done by consistently ensuring that the necessary policies and infrastructure are enhanced, so that the requisite technological platform for a viable economic diversification can ensue. Certainly, no economy is sustainable on a mono product.

"ICT is changing the way companies do business, transforming public service delivery and encouraging innovation. In the new world order, the competitiveness of economies depends on their ability to leverage new technologies," Danbatta said.

He further explained that digitalisation could help the economy in direct job creation, GDP contribution, emergence of new services and industries, and workforce transformation, including business innovation.

"The mass adoption of connected digital services by consumers, enterprises, and governments, has merged in recent years as a key economic driver that accelerates economic growth.

"The ability of digitalisation to boost output and employment has measurable global effects," Danbatta said.

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