How to move Nigeria’s digital transformation forward, by experts

Digital transformation in government can exponentially improve the lives of its citizens, providing more efficient and positive experiences that build trust, experts have said.

Specifically, they said technology is changing lives at spectacular speed. According to them, advances in medicine, education, communication, and productivity have increased life expectancy around the globe and lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty.

The experts, who spoke on a paper presented by Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, said the ability to connect to people and information instantly is so commonplace that many people take it for granted. They stressed that governments around the world are transforming and adapting to this change, hence Nigeria is not exceptional.

Country Manager, Microsoft Nigeria, Akin Banuso, said Microsoft has presented digital transformation as a means for social and economic development in Nigeria, and as an opportunity for every Nigerian citizen and business to achieve more.

Banuso said Just as there is an effective commercial ecosystem that brings the promise of technology to life in the marketplace, there must also be a strong societal ecosystem that democratises the promise of technology. Pantami in his paper noted that Nigeria is not only a key player in West Africa but is also the continent’s largest economy.

“The country has historically been dependent on its oil resources and the revenue received from it as a means for development and growth, making it highly susceptible to the volatility of oil prices. There is massive potential for growth through the digital economy for Nigeria.”

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“This forward-looking whitepaper from Microsoft aligns with the eight pillars contained in the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy and the country’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan and so will support the country in collaborating towards building an inclusive Digital Nigeria,” Pantami added.

Government Affairs Director for Microsoft Emerging Markets, Rimini Makama, in a statement, said: “Technology is at the heart of driving a digital economy which will bring these priorities to fruition. The question for Law makers and policymakers around the world is how to harness the power of the technology to transform people’s lives for the better without unleashing the potential for dislocation and disorder.”

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