NITDA: FG’s Digitization Policy is Positively Driving the Economy
TECH DIGEST: According to Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, director general of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), the Federal Government’s digitisation policy, as outlined in the National Digital Economy Policy: and Strategy (NDEPS), is having a positive effect on corporate governance, business-to-business (B2B), business-to-customer (B2C), and business-to-government (B2G) relationships.
He talked at the National Advisory Committee on Electronic Commerce and Digital Economy (NACEDE) Validation Workshop for the National e-Commerce Policy and Strategy recently held in Abuja.
According to him, the digital economy sector, which is a super-set of e-commerce, remains key to Nigeria’s economic recovery in the post-COVID era, deploying new technological innovations, such as e-commerce platforms, including social media-enabled trading handles, and ensuring rapid uptake of e-commerce for economic growth and competitiveness.
His words: “Nigeria is experiencing the positive impact of e-commerce activities due to the growing increase in access to the Internet and related IT tools and services. The contribution of the telecommunications sector to the National Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was an average15% in July 2022 and experienced 44.5% broadband penetration with active internet subscriptions that peaked at 151 million.”
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The NITDA boss who was represented Acting Director, Digital Economy and Development, Salisu Kaka, said, “we have approximately 2000 digital innovation companies with 384 products in Nigeria. These startups have raised over $2 billion in venture capital funding in 2021 alone. With an estimated 89,000 developers representing 12% of the African developers’ population, Nigeria’s e-commerce market size is about $17 billion. There is annual spending of about $12 billion in 2022, and this is projected to reach $75 billion by 2025.”
Adding: “Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) appear to be the major beneficiaries of the concept of e-commerce as it enabled MSMEs to operate in the global marketplace. MSMEs can now participate in regional businesses and enjoys social, economic, and cultural networks seamlessly across international boundaries.
“Global corporations now operate with much consistency while MSMEs experience enhanced participation in international value chains, increased market access and reach improved internal and external market efficiency, and lower transaction costs.”
He also said that there is a need to maintain the tide and optimise the benefit of technology and e-commerce, which have necessitated Nigeria to have a robust national e-commerce policy and strategy.
His words: “Additionally, Nigeria is a signatory to bilateral, regional, continental, and global treaties on trade and trade-related activities. Having a national policy that recognized these treaties is necessary for the mutual benefit of member nations.
“The policy will help us as a nation to make use of trade agreements that facilitate e-commerce for national benefits and avoid possible distortions that could jeopardize the optimization of the opportunities in e-commerce and hinders the growth of our businesses.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria, under the leadership of His Excellency, President Muhammad Buhari (GCFR), through the supervision of the Honourable Minister of Communications and Digital Economy. Prof. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami is keen on ensuring developments in Nigeria’s Digital Economy sector. I believe that e-commerce policy is central to these developments.”
The Chairman of NACEDE who is also the Director of the Commodities and Export Department at the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Suleman Adebayo Audu, in his earlier remark stated that taking advantage of the digital economy will boost the growth of e-commerce across the country thereby bringing foreign direct investment (FDI).
Adebayo said the policy document represented the priority of the Federal Government, and the workshop will provide an avenue for inclusiveness of citizens to partake in the decision-making, and contribute ideas that will be beneficial to the policy document before its full implementation.
The workshop was organized by the NITDA in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade, and Investment (FMITI) and aimed at providing a platform to contribute towards the full implementation of the policy document.