President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Asiwaju (Dr) Michael Olawale-Cole has stated that the digital economy may open up new possibilities and economic prospects for firms and investors with the help of sensible legislation, policies, and governance.
He made the comment today in Lagos, Nigeria, at the opening of the trade promotion board of the Chamber’s ICTEL Conference and Exhibition (ICTEL EXPO2023). Governments and organizations, according to Dr. Olawale-Cole, must use technology to foster innovation, competitiveness, and resilience in the face of threats and uncertainty.
The 2023 ICTEL Conference & Expo with the theme “Tech Disrupt: Transforming Industries with Innovation” creates a platform for key players and stakeholders in the Nigerian information, communication & telecommunications industry to share perspectives on emerging issues and trends in the digital economy.
According to the president of the LCCI, the topic of this year’s ICTEL Expo2023 emphasizes that learning about the technologies that are reshaping industry, education, and even lifestyles will begin long before the event concludes.
“We are determined this year to follow the theme through and ensure follow-up initiatives that would make the resolutions and learning from our robust interaction at this event a working manual for relevant stakeholders.
“With technology having more relevance in the business world, the sector is fast becoming the fastest-growing sector in the non-oil sector of the Nigerian economy. Information and communication technology (ICT) has continued to disrupt the practice of agriculture, healthcare, learning, and manufacturing.
“We are presently experiencing innovative solutions driven by artificial intelligence (ai), automation, robotics, and wearable technologies. Recent data from the national bureau of statistics (NBS) revealed that the tech sector in the first quarter of 2023 recorded a growth rate of 10.32% in real terms, year-on-year, and contributed 17.47% to the real gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2023, higher than in the same quarter of the previous year in which it represented 16.20% and higher than the preceding quarter in which it represented 16.22%”.
Because of its complexity and dynamic character as well as the transformative potential of digital technology, he continued, the digital economy is developing and having an increasing influence on more spheres of life and business.
“The digital economy or the internet economy enables and supports various business, social, and government activities through electronic commerce, lifestyle apps, and e-government platforms, respectively. By this, the digital economy is considered the single most important driver of innovation, competitiveness, and growth.
“The digital economy has continued to play a very critical role in building resilience against disruptions from risks, pandemics, and natural disasters.
“The ICT sector, for instance, remains one of the most resilient sectors that thrive even in economic recessions and disruptions.”
He said that the ICT industry, or the digital economy, drives supply chain competitiveness, cost-efficiency, and resilience via innovation.
“Innovative disruptions are emerging in AgricTech, HealthTech, EduTech, eGovernment, etc. The digital economy has become more relevant in many spheres of our lives. With sound regulations, policies, and governance, the digital economy can create new possibilities and economic opportunities for businesses and investors. Governments and organizations must leverage technology for innovation, competitiveness, and resilience in the face of risks and uncertainties.
“As an advocacy pressure group and a lead promoter of small and medium enterprises (smes), we appreciate the significance of this sector to business growth and sustainability and we are ready to lend necessary support to the actualization of the goals set out by the government to build and sustain a robust and supportive digital economy.
“We have assembled eminent speakers whom we are confident will do justice to various issues as they reflect on the theme of this great event and the expectations of all of us.
“By strategic design, this year, we are working with the most relevant regulators, operators, and critical stakeholders in nigeria’s digital economy space. We are pleased to announce our collaboration with credible institutions like the federal ministry of communications and digital economy, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Galaxy Backbone, Nigeria Internet Registration Agency (NiRA), Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Open Access Data Center, Rack Center, etc.
“We are proud to have worked with these institutions in planning and hosting the 2023 ICTEL conference & expo. Let me use this opportunity to urge the government at various levels to formulate policies that create a vibrant innovation ecosystem that support the deployment of more technology and the creation of more jobs in the technology sectors”.