Nigeria’s Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu, has revealed that the present administration is set to leverage the benefits of the digital revolution and the huge potential of ICT to achieve ‘a smart digital Nigeria’.
Shittu made this known while addressing delegates at the opening ceremony of the 14th Innovation Africa Digital Summit 2016. The three-day event kicked off yesterday at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel Abuja. The summit themed: ‘Harnessing Africa’s Digital Growth’, is Africa’s leading ICT Business Summit. Over 500 senior executives across government, regulatory bodies, telecoms operators and major end users of ICT from all over Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Europe are attending the summit. Explaining the rationale behind the administration’s decision to unlock positive growth using digital platforms, Barrister Adebayo Shittu stated: “ICT has changed the course of history and added value to all that we do.”
The Minister said that the Federal Government has developed a roadmap to be unveiled soon towards achieving exceptional growth through ICT. Speaking on the importance of the summit, Amina Oyagbola, MTN Executive pointed out that the IAD Summit presents another opportunity for Africa to deliberate on further steps to develop the ICT sector as an engine of growth and thereby improve its contribution to the GDPs of African countries.
According to Oyagbola, “there continues to be increasing optimism and enthusiasm in international circles about Africa huge potential for growth and development. From education to financial inclusion, agriculture to solid minerals, e-government to mobile health, ICT is key to ensuring maximum impact across key elements involving people, processes and productivity. ICT can retool and up skill people in every sector, upgrade processes for greater operational efficiency, create jobs and enhance productivity for stronger growth while attracting further investment.”
Delivering the goodwill message from the Presidency, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Eng. Babachir Lawal said that the IAD 2016 summit heralds a new dawn in progress driven development through ICT as the Federal Government duly recognizes the role of ICT in fostering a viable economy. “We are proud to be part of the 2016 IAD summit because we believe in its potential to contribute to national and regional development” Lawal said. Other African countries represented at the event include Sierra Leone, Lesotho, Ethiopia, Ghana and Cameroun.