Renowned personalities in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and business moguls have pointed out that there is no better time to explore opportunities in the digital economy than now that economies are shocks of Coronavirus Pandemic.
The speakers unanimously agree on this at the 2020 (6th Edition) of the prestigious LCCI ICTEL EXPO (virtual event), which commenced on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, and ended yesterday Wednesday, September 23, 2020.
ICTEL EXPO is a flagship event of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI.
While declaring the conference and exhibition open, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, said that globally, digital revolution is changing lives and societies, with unprecedented speed and scale, delivering immense opportunities, as well as associated challenges.
“As predicted by the World Economic Forum, over 60% of global Gross Domestic Product, (GDP), will be digitized, by 2022 and that, over the next decade, digital platforms will be used to create close to 70% of new value”, Pantami noted.
The Minister, who was represented by the Executive Secretary, Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), Mr. Ayuba Shuaibu, stressed that, globally, businesses are shifting from brick and mortar form to innovative enterprises driven by digital technologies, and now is the time for business, enterprises, and organisations, to reinvent and automate, to fit into the global digital economy.
“I want to congratulate the Director-General and members of the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry for organising this Information Communication Technology and Telecommunications Conference and Exhibition, ICTEL EXPO 2020, to spotlight this national discourse, on how we can take advantage of digital technology for accelerating our economy”, he concluded.
In her welcome address, the President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, LCCI, Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, stated that the theme of this year’s EXPO is, ‘Exploring Opportunities in the Digital Economy – The New Reality’.
“There is no better time to explore these opportunities provided by the digital economy than now that, every nation is seeking ways to overcome the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic”, she explained.
She stated that, as nations face dwindling growth, the deployment of technology is key, to economic recovery and sustainability. Today, virtually, all sectors, leverage ICT for optimal performance.
“This is evident in the financial services sector, where almost all banking transactions are conducted through digital channels, the agriculture sector, where sophisticated technologies, such as robots, temperature and moisture sensors, aerial images, and global positioning systems, the GPS technologies, are largely employed”, she maintained.
“Nigeria has witnessed a phenomenal growth in its ICT sector over the past decade. The ICT sector remains one of the most resilient sectors of the Nigerian economy, even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic”, Mabogunje opined.
“As a foremost private sector body in Nigeria today, established since 1888, the Lagos Chamber is providing, through this expo, an incredible platform, to advance the opportunities and linkages in the world of ICT”, she concluded.
Delivering her keynote address, the CEO/Managing Director, MainOne and Chairperson, Presidential Committee on National Broadband Plan, Ms. Funke Opeke, identified three activities that will enable the digital economy to work well in our clime. These include connectivity, a device, and a platform that enables one to connect with parties at the other end.
“When we look at private sector participation in Nigeria and the challenges we face as an economy, especially with the recession, with the dip growth rate and high inflation economy that we have and I think the recognition, globally, that growth across the world can only be fueled by digital adoption in the years to come. I think it is important that our government provide more support to the ICT industry,” she concluded.
Some panel discussions also took place on the first day of the event, while some companies exhibited their products and solutions to the general populace, via the online virtual platform.