Digital Economy; NACCIMA attracting investment to Nigeria -Buhari
By Samuel Torlumun
President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has said the efforts of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, (NACCIMA) in organizing a conference on digital economy will attract investors to Nigeria and also showcase Nigeria investors to global community.
The President who was represented by Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami at the Digital Economy Conference in Abuja on Tuesday, stated that putting up a conference of that magnitude is one sure way of complementing government efforts at delivering its mandate in the digital economy sector.
Commending the efforts of NACCIMA, the President admitted that building a virile Nigeria’s economy doesn’t rely on the government alone, but stakeholders who must come together for active participation.
He said the government is readily willing to take inputs and recommendations emanating from the conference in order to consolidate on the gains recorded under his administration in digital economy.
“Digital Economy sector today is the key driver of the economic growth not only in Nigeria, but globally. According to International Monetary Fund, (IMF) in December 2022, the entire global Gross Domestic Product, (GDP) was 101.6 trillion USSD, out of which digital enterprises contributed $53.3 trillion. So by implication, digital economy and other economic activities on digital platform contributes more than 50 percent of the total world economy today. That is why digital economy is the catalyst for economic growth. In Nigeria, ICT alone is three times the contribution of oil and gas in Nigeria’s GDP”, the President stated.
Also speaking, the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen said the conference is apt considering the challenges Nigeria is facing focusing only on oil. She stated that the Ministry of Women Affairs is ready to key into the prospects of the digital economy to engage women in the striving venture.
Similarly, representatives of ministers of Industry Trade and Investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, Foreign Affairs, Dr. Vincent Onyiema and Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service, alluded to an all important role technology is playing in the economy of Nigeria and the world, and promised to support initiatives of NACCIMA that will lead Nigeria to global competitiveness in the sector and economic growth.
Earlier in his welcome address, National President of NACCIMA, Ide John Udeagbala listed the cardinal objectives of putting up the conference, saying it is part of NACCIMA’s contribution to the development and diversification of Nigeria’s economy.
He explained that the theme of the conference, ‘Promoting a Vibrant Digital Economy- a Catalyst for Economic Growth in Nigeria’ is aimed at promoting technological ecosystem in Nigeria.
He added that it will also create potentials for job creation, identification new opportunities that exist in the tech industry, attract local and foreign investments, identify challenges impeding development of the sector, encourage government to initiate policies that will build up the existing law, and establish digital hubs in the six geopolitical zones among other objectives.
He noted that NACCIMA by this maiden digital conference is aimed at rewriting the negative narrative that portrays Nigerians as criminal in cybal space.
The conference was attended by top government functionaries, diplomats, foreign and local investors, academia and CSOs in the sector.