As the world continues to grapple with the ripple effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, African technology giant, Executive Director SystemSpecs, Deremi Atanda has urged Nigeria to harness the opportunities presented by the ICT boom in the country to boost her economy in the post-COVID-19 era.
This he said the ICT boom is a great opportunity for the national economy to thrive in terms of capacity building for economic advancement
Atanda speaking as a panelist during a webinar recently organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria Centre for Financial Studies (CIBNCFS), in collaboration with B. Adedipe Associates Limited (BAA) on how key sectors survived the pandemic and practicable strategies for growth and profitability as the economy tends towards recovery.
He emphasised that the analysis of Nigeria’s economy for the first quarter of 2021 indicates that inflation dropped from 18.1 per cent in April to a three-month low of 17.9 per cent in May 2021. Also, the volatility of product prices, especially raw materials used for production by businesses have made planning and optimization of supply chains slightly complex.
“As the economy continues its slow recovery from the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is key that Nigeria takes more concerted efforts towards diversifying her economy. Technology holds a great potential that has barely been scratched and can be harnessed through well thought-out policies and a business climate that encourages innovation,” Atanda noted.
According to him, COVID-19 has represented more of an opportunity for the ICT sector than demerits, he stressed, “globally, COVID-19 has lent a great deal to the entrenchment of ICT in various sectors more than ever. I wish we were more prepared to maximize the opportunities ICT has presented us to improve the economy,” Atanda said.
The technology expert however cited the case of 60 per cent of government workers working from home, suggesting that they could have been converted to an economic advantage if the government had stimulated production and distribution of laptops, solicited the expansion of broadband and increased digital literacy
There have also been increased remittances into the economy as a result of direct economic activities by people in the ICT sector.
Atanda noted that this presents an opportunity for the Nigerian government to develop outsourcing, citing the case of India, “by turning these young people into an economic workforce that we can unleash on the world. Hence, Nigeria has a lot more to offer if we harness our tech policies and engage at a high level,” Atanda added.