By Khadija Aliyu
The center for information technology and development (CITAD),has urged the federal government to put modalities in place, to move Nigeria from consumer to producer of technology.
The executive director CITAD, Engineer Yunusa Zakari Ya’u, made the call during a media parley held in Kano.
According to him,the federal government should come up with a realistic plan, to transform the country from a mere consumer of digital technology, to a digital technology producing country, with capacity and capability for export, of digital goods and services across the world.
He stressed that,uplifting Nigeria to the position of producing technology driven goods and services, would reduce poverty, unemployment and other societal problems.
“Digital technology has the potential to create jobs, thus addressing the huge unemployment crisis of the country as well as generate wealth to contribute to ending poverty in the country”
Engineer Yunusa emphasized on the need, for the minister of communications and digital economy, to set up a Digital Emergency Working Group to study the network readiness index (NRI),with a view to addressing he poor digital situation of the country.
The executive director highlighted that, identifying the strategic weaknesses of the country, suggesting solutions,and developing a robust implementation plan, would lift the country out of its present digital stagnation.
“This year Nigeria was ranked 106 out of 134 with a composite score of 35.73, below top African continent performers of Kenya (70), South Africa (74) and Mauritius (76)”
He identified learning from global good practices, provision of loans, grants and subsidy on connectivity to unserved communities, stable power supply, increasing life span of products, renewable technology and removing barriers, as some of the major catalysts to increasing Nigeria’s ranking in the NRI.
“According to the design of the NRI, there are four pillars, technology, people, governance and impact”
Engineer Yunusa maintained that, the minister needs to find a way to converge a consultative meeting of state governors, to underline the imperative of their being the drivers of the digitization process of their respective states.
“Now is the time to turn that potential into a reality, a task that can only be done by rallying all the sectors of the society together behind a clear national agenda”