Focus On ICT Key To Navigate Economy Through Challenges – Expert

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The Emerging Africa Capital Ltd has urged the Federal Government to focus on sectors that contribute majorly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to navigate through the challenges facing the economy.

The group  provides  financial services aimed at facilitating investment process for African entities and individuals, as well as investors interested in Africa’s attractive investment opportunities.

The Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mrs Toyin Sanni, made the assertion at the Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce (NSACC) May breakfast webinar on Thursday in Lagos.

The theme of the webinar is: The Nigerian Business Environment; Navigating the Challenges Ahead.

Sanni said the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) with the capacity to maximally contribute to the GDP and engage the increasing ballooning youth population, was not getting the needed attention.

She stressed the need for an extensive and well articulated plans by the government and the business environment for the sector.

Sanni called for funding, regulatory environment and support for the sector to thrive.

“Growth in the ICT is not getting the needed public support.

“The sector has the capacity to engage the young people in creating solutions, but so far, has been attracting huge funding from abroad and doing it essentially by themselves.

“The agriculture sector, facing challenges in terms of the security situation has impacted production on both farming and livestock.

“We need to dispassionately address this issue and technology is also definitely the answer.

“With a growing population of over 200 million and over 60 million of those are young people, our ability to absorb the increasing ballooning population is to encourage them, to be self employed through technology.

“Their capability to develop intiatives that require minimal capital through the social media and also create jobs, for other young people, would be achieved through technology,” she said.

Dr Biodun Adedipe, Chief Consultant, B. Adedipe Associates Ltd., said pre-existing vunerabilities of developing economies, worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, required creative intervention.

This, according to him, can be achieved through strategic business units by  adopting block chain technologies.

Adedipe noted that to navigate the current disruptions, businesses must embrace changes to consumer behaviours  and adopt internal measures to survive and thrive, particularly in the Nigerian business environment.

He said organisational imperatives such as building data rich platforms, flattening structure, turbo charge decision making and accelerated organisation learning, would act as identifiers of future ready companies.

“There is no sector that you operate in the Nigerian economy that there is no space for you to thrive, if you do the right thing with most things now digital.

“However, the manufacturing sector of the Nigerian economy is the key to wealth and job creation and must engage technology to be most successful.

“The argument is to put control in the hands of market participants and away from regulators and operators as everything now rides on the backs of big and thick data.

“These are the internet of things, artificial intelligence, machine learning, event driven software, block chain technology and decentralisation of financial services,” he said.

Mr Osayaba Giwa-Osagie, Chairman, NSACC, said the Nigerian business environment was prone to risks and the present challenges detrimental to survival, if not properly managed.

Giwa-Osagie noted that a good understanding of the business environment had seen many countries thrive, while some others had to file for bankruptcy or close down completely.

He listed some of the challenges as  frequent change of business policies, insecurity and unstable power supply.

“Our dynamic, competitive and fast growing size, is a source of interest to countries for investment.

“The key is to navigate through effective monitoring of business and consumer needs to address the challenges currently in the business environment,” he said. (NAN)



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