The federal government has reiterated its commitment to diversifying the country’s economy by leveraging digital platforms to increase revenue earnings and increasing employment opportunities for jobless Nigerians.
Dr Kashifu Abdullahi, Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), made this known during a virtual stakeholders engagement workshop in Abuja on the Draft National Outsourcing Strategy for Nigeria 2020-2025.
Abdullahi explained that with the recent government initiative to make Nigeria a leading digital economy coupled with the government promise to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty, NITDA under the supervision of Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy has refocused its effort to implementation of the National Digital Economy Strategy, adding that the digital economy was emerging before COVID-19 and now the crisis has made it more profound.
The NITDA boss urged Nigerians and industry players to leverage the power of digital platforms for wealth creation,adding that they should take a cue from how the world’s 25 richest billionaires have gained over $225 billion in just two months during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, almost all of them leveraged the power of digital platforms to get the whopping amount, noting that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was the biggest gainer with almost $32.5bn in two months under lockdown and has moved from the 7th richest person in the world in early April to the fourth-richest person today.
Abdullahi, however, hinted that NITDA was targeting the creation of one million jobs through digital platforms between 2020 and 2025, stressing that seven critical pillars, such as infrastructures, skill and human capital development, branding and promotion, digital finances and incentives, innovation and entrepreneurship, trust, privacy and security and multi-stakeholders governance are on target to achieve the desired end.
Earlier,as part of moves to transform the Nigerian economy into a digital economy, President Muhammadu Buhari had inaugurated four national projects in the telecoms sector in Abuja.
The projects: the Communications and Digital Economy Complex (CDEC), the National Broadband Plan (NBP), the Emergency Communications Centre (ECC), and the National Innovation and Entrepreneurship Training programme, all targeted at digitising the Nigerian economy in line with the global digital transformation strategy.