Nigeria firms up on digital economy as Pantami inaugurates committee to review NDEPS

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Nigeria is strengthening its agenda for digital economy with the inauguration of a 30-member committee to review the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), this week, in Abuja.

Inaugurated by the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ali Ibrahim Pantami, the committee is tasked with providing an easy, accessible, innovative and workable template to monitor and get feedback on the various aspects of the NDEPS.

The NDEPS is a draft document aimed at strategizing on how to digitize the economy of the country. The document is fostered around eight pillars including: Developmental Regulation; Digital Literacy and Skills; Solid Infrastructure; Service Infrastructure; Digital Services Development and Promotion; Soft Infrastructure; Digital Society and Emerging Technologies; and Indigenous Content Development and Adoption.

The NDEPS as a framework for the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria was launched last November by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Pantami urged the committee members to see their enlistment as a national call and to demonstrate commitment to the task even as he expressed confidence that the emergence of Nigerian Digital Economy will have a multiplier effect on across all sectors.

Pantami said selection into the review committee reflects the unique expertise of each member. His words: “We have identified a number of stakeholders that are critical to the successful implementation of NDEPS and we expect this committee to propose the assignment of responsibilities to them based on the mandate, expertise and track record. Your selection is a reflection of the level of confidence that we have in you to carry out this very important national assignment.”

The Terms of Reference for the Committee include to: Review the Draft 2020-2030 NDEPS with special focus on its deliverables; Develop an effective implementation roadmap; Create a Responsibility Assignment Matrix; and Outline a robust monitoring strategy with a clear feedback mechanism.

Entry into the global digital economy is critical to Nigeria’s continuous growth as the country’s seeks to, according to Pantami as “It will enable Nigeria to get a slice of the Global Digital Economy which Oxford Economics values at $11.5 trillion dollars or approximately 16% of the Global Economy.  This value is expected to grow significantly over the coming years. The World Economic Forum predicts that over 60% of global GDP will be digitized by 2022 and that over the next decade, digital platforms will be used to create close to 70% of new value.”

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