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Information and communication technology (ICT) experts are unanimous in their view that Nigeria has to become a thinking Nation to survive the coming disruptive revolution, which is upon the world.

To survive it, the experts, who gathered at the maiden edition of ‘Think Breakfast Series’ (TBS) organised by Nigeria Communications Week and CFAtech.ng in Lagos has called for increased broadband connectivity that will make broadband internet ubiquitous for all Nigerians to access the internet.

They said that one of the biggest steps President Muhammadu Buhari -led administration must take is to identify and address impediments to broadband penetration.

Managing Director, Rack Centre, Mr. Ayotunde Coker, who delivered a paper on ‘The Challenges and Importance of Building a Knowledge-led Economy through ICT,’ said Nigeria has over 180 million estimated population with the middle class around 18 years old and gross domestic product (GDP) worth $481 billion, and that it therefore behooves on the government and the private sector to build critical infrastructure required to stir up the knowledge-led economy.

Coker, who spoke on the need for improvement on broadband penetration in the country, noted that the key driver of knowledge-based economy lies on the transformational power of computing.

“The ‘Impacts of Broadband Penetration on economic Growth’ are obvious. Both the ITU and GSMA have stated continuously that a 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration yields 1.4 per cent increase in GDP. Yes, broadband penetration brings about improvement of productivity in enterprises; acceleration of innovation by new consumer applications and services; more efficient functional deployment of enterprises, access to consumers and social impact from consumer access to products, services and content,” Coker said.

According to him, “Knowledge economy eco system requires varying technologies to thrive particularly fibre then of course LTE, 5G is coming into the mix now. Of course the impact and benefits of cloud services can’t be over emphasised. More so cloud services will create significant positive impact on SMEs particularly for cost savings, optimization and efficiency.”

The Managing Director of Precise Financial Systems (PFS), Mr. Yele Okeremi, said the 10 pillars the World Economic Forum (WEF) uses to gauge nations show that Nigeria is lagging in most of the areas like skill, knowledge and competence pillar.

Okeremi said technology as a tool and technology professionals can assist in the enhancing the ease of doing business particularly by ensuring that e-government platforms are deployed.

He said: “Leadership is key to this transformation and leverage the new mindset of the youth by focusing more on skills rather than paper qualifications. Leadership engagement- continuous awareness, education and enlightenment of our leaders across board to understand the importance of technology and the knowledge economy is primary in achieving the knowledge-led economy, because it is what the legislator knows that he will present at the floor of the Chamber, which often times becomes laws of the land.”

Also speaking, the Chief Executive Officer, Internet eXchange Point of Nigeria (IXPN), Mr. Muhammed Rudman, agreed on the need for legal framework to protect Intellectual Property (IP).

Rudman added that funding framework for start-ups has not encouraged innovation which necessities for various channels to step up interests of angle investors in Nigeria.

Craving for local content and indigenous data hosting, President, Nigerian Internet Registration Association (NIRA), Reverend Sunday Folayan, encouraged individuals and organisations to join in the .ng domain name crusade. President, Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria (ISPON), Mr. James Emadoye, however, linked the journey to knowledge-based economy to quality educational sector.


Autor(en)/Author(s): Emma Okonji

Quelle/Source: THISDAY, 02.03.2017

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