Mr. Yele Okeremi, CEO of Precise Financial Systems (PFS) is to lead a talk hoping to identify available opportunities in the Nigerian technology sector.
The dialogue convened by the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) and scheduled for March 8, 2016 in Ibadan, is expected to lay a foundation for the enhancement of ICTs in the South-Western states of Nigeria
The roundtable dialogue would focus on issues relating to how Western Nigeria could set agenda that would improve the health of the states, according to organisers.
DAWN says the talks will also centre on ”how to develop a strategic engagement document, which can be used to generate actions within the policy environment, would also form part of the agenda.”
Mr. Oladipo Famakinwa, Director General of DAWN, would lead a diverse team of professionals at the gathering hoped to agree on actions for setting a regional plan for the growth of the region’s digital/ICT sector, design strategies for building synergy of actions and exploring the collaborative space, among others.
With this dialogue, he said, the organization envisaged that the opportunity would help to focus its attention on central matter and open up the right conversations that would lead to “achieving a region that is globally competitive in the sector and overall improve our productivity and welfare as a people. That is why we have chosen Yele Okeremi to lead this dialogue”, he said.
“We see huge opportunities in the technology driven sector and we must not let it pass us by if we must achieve regional competitiveness, as it is a harbinger of productivity and growth in our economy.”
According to him the DG of DAWN, in spite of great efforts to improve the economic and social conditions in many of these states, “we are still a long way off in terms of optimizing the digital and ICT sector to boost our economic and social productivity.”
He reiterated that while Internet connectivity is still low in Nigeria, mobile network connections have aided to close the gap of Internet connectivity to about 96% of the world’s population.
Quoting a World Economic Forum (WEF) report, he said about 1.6 billion people have no access to 3G or 4G while reliable service at a reasonable cost remains out of reach, thereby hampering the region’s drive to innovate and improve in its competitiveness ranking.
Famakinwa is concerned that many states in the region are in a near-bankrupt state due to dwindling Federal allocation and their low internally-generated revenue profile.
“For efficiency and economies of scale, the way out is to organised for effective regional actions through the mobilization of regional endowments and assets and jointly optimize the space for development”, Famakinwa adds.
The objectives of the dialogue, according to him, would include ensuring that the digital/ICT economy forms a critical part of the regional economy, turn the region into a hub of digital technology and related enterprises within the digital sector.
He said the dialogue would ensure that the whole of Western Nigeria is capable of communicating and transferring data at world standards through high capacity digital infrastructure.
DAWN is looking into opportunities in e-commerce, financial inclusion, mobile banking and outsourcing as well the development of a Western Nigeria Digital Infrastructure Solidarity Plan.