Digital Transformation: Pathway To Economic Diversification – NIGCOMSAT CEO

1 week ago
1 min read

Managing director/CEO of Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited (NIGCOMSAT), Engr. (Mrs) Jane Nkechi Egerten-Idehen has highlighted the need to embrace digital technology as a pathway to economic diversification in the country.

Egerten-Idehen who stated this while delivering the 20th Herbert Macaulay Memorial Lecture in the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) on the topic “Championing Innovation: A look at Digital Transformation and Economic Diversification in Nigeria,” noted that dependence on oil has made Nigeria’s economy vulnerable he hence the need to pursue diversification of the economy through digital transformation.

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She quoted a World Bank report which stated that “digital transformation has the potential to add nearly $5 trillion to the global GDP by 2025.”

“Regional Digital Transformation can help power development in Africa. This transformation isn’t just about the latest gadgets; it’s about using technology to create new opportunities, improve efficiency, and empower people,” she said.

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The annual public lecture was organised by the Faculty of Engineering, UNN in honour of the achievements of Macaulay and other alumni of the university, especially their contribution to national development.

Egerten-Idehen who was the first female to deliver lecture since it started in 1980 emphasised the need to deepen digital literacy in the country and the world at Large

She said one way of mainstreaming the adoption of digital technology in the country is to incorporate digital education in the curriculum of tertiary institutions for people to acquire sufficient skills to render digital services.

According to her, this would enable students learn things like robotics, blockchain and Al among others to increase their digital literacy.

“People shouldn’t struggle and find it hard to use digital items, hence the need for digital literacy,” she said. 

With that, she continued, the young people who eventually become tech entrepreneurs would develop solutions for local challenges using advanced technologies. 

The NIGCOMSAT CEO mentioned that one of the challenges to Digital transformation is lack of access to internet by many Nigerians. She cited a 2023 report by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), which revealed that only about 40% of the population has access to broadband internet.

Egerten-Idehen stressed the need for affordable internet access as it would enhance digital literacy and transformation.

She further asserted that other ways of  migrating to digital economy in the country is by the government adopting appropriate policies, making good investment in infrastructure, and increased collaboration between public and private sectors in that direction.

While concluding her lecture, Mrs Egerten-Idehen disclosed that there are plans to make UNN the host for South East regional centre for Artificial Intelligence (AI).


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