Nigeria appears to be getting lots of attention from global investors. Regardless of these attentions however, The world is getting digital and it won’t be out of place for Nigeria to follow the trend. In fact, Nigeria’s economy is one of the fastest growing in Africa and Huawei has made an announcement recently, to infuse latest Information and Communication Developments such as IoT in the Nigeria digital economy and other African countries.
Why is it beneficial to leverage on ICT to boost the economic growth? How can ICT investments be optimized to maximize profits? If experts are to give a forecast on the development priorities and the trends of the digital economy, what will be Nigeria’s rating?
Whether we like it or not, every country is transforming into a digital village – you either join the train or get left behind. There is a pressure to accelerate social and economic growth and the only way to go around this is connectivity, which could be on cloud computing, Big Data and Analytics as well as Broadband Internet Connection.
Nigeria is lagging behind in international competition because many countries have already embarked on the race and are consistently leveraging on ICT to sustain the competitiveness. Recently, some western countries such as France, the USA, the UK, India and some others are talking of taking petrol cars off the road owing to the effect of poor air quality on people’s lives.
A digital economy pervades through every sector and aspect of the society- the way people communicate and interact with one another, the recruitment processes, the system of agricultural, the method of education, as well as the political decision making. A digital economy not only has the potentials for breakthroughs or fueling job opportunities, in the long run, it will improve the standard of living.
A digital economy is our reality. In Kenya, a mobile data can be used to identify malaria infections so as to guide the government’s eradication process. Farmers in India depend on data from seeds to determine the next line of action as to what to grow. In Nigeria, despite the busy schedule, you can easily get your groceries on line and them delivered to your doorstep. The banking sector is also investing a lot in internet banking. All these factors are making life much easier.
Even in the financial aspect, there are digital currencies taking the place of the traditional printed currencies. A blockchain, also known as a digital ledger allows you carry out transactions without the use of a third party institution. With a blockchain, you are your own financial institution.
McKinsey, one of the multinational companies in Nigeria stressed that the absence of Broadband is a major plague hindering the acceleration of economic growth in the country. The company predicted that without leveraging on IoT, the economic impact could be affected leading to a plummet of the country’s Gross Domestic Product(GDP). It noted further that the current recession led to a plunge in the country’s GDP, falling from N1.58tn to N1.39tn by the end of the third quarter.
Without doubt, leveraging on ICT will accelerate the economic growth of the country. There is a rising demand from emerging economies and a growing demand for resources. The Managing Director of Huwei Technologies Nigeria gave a forecast on the development priorities of the country. He said:
“We project in the near future a digital economy that will bring about massive deviations in society. We simply have no way of knowing how deep and far-reaching these deviations will be. Nevertheless, we can be sure of one thing, that ICT will be the cornerstone of this digital economy.”
Huawei is stipulated to have invested over $6m in Nigeria, and has constructed the Innovation and Experience centre to serve Nigeria customers.
Transforming into a digital economy is a necessity to drive the country’s economy. It’s a good initiative by the telecoms company. However the government and business have their roles to play. They must not delay in developing the necessary talent and implementing the laws that will work.
It will be a pleasure to see that everyone has an access to internet in Nigeria, topnotch security-CCTV to monitor activities in every area, less hunger across the states, good education, a new phase of political decision making and less deaths resulting from lack of standard health facilities. What more can anyone ask for, other than an improved standard of living?