ACADEMIA KEY TO DIGITAL ECONOMY – MINISTER

Hon. Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Ibrahim delivering the Convocation Lecture

FIIM, features a sserted that the academia has a key role to play within the development of Nigerian digital economy. Dr. Ibrahim made the assertion on Friday, January 31, 2020 when he presented the 29th Convocation Lecture of the Federal University of Technology, Minna, at the Caverton Lecture Theatre, Main Campus, titled: Datafication of Society: Economic and Security Issues in producing and Using Public and personal Data in Nigeria”.

The Minister described a digital economy together that utilizes digitized information and knowledge as key inputs to the economy adding that the majority nations are prioritizing development of digital economies because they need realized the multiplier effects it’s on all other sectors of the economy.
He said the thrust of the lecture was to draw attention to the irrefutable incontrovertible fact that a digital economy is that the single most vital driver of innovation, competitiveness and growth for any economy. The convocation lecturer noted that Nigeria trusted oil for many years but as we enter an era where wealth is being measured by digital resources, we must diversify and move to a knowledge based economy by the utilization of ICT to be ready to lookout of our Technological challenges adding that the key ingredient for powering a digital economy is data which drives the expansion of the normal economy.

Dr. Ibrahim disclosed that Nigeria, is developing and implementing policies, standards, guidelines and frameworks which will enable citizens enjoy the prospects of datafication. consistent with him, Nigeria has keyed into the digital economy with the launch of the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS) by President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR on November28, 2019. The Minister who highlighted the differences between public and personal data, economic and security issues in producing and using public and personal data in Nigeria noted that there are laws and policies in Nigeria that are supporting the protection of our personal data just like the Nigerian Data Protection Regulation (NDPR) and sections 37 of the Nigerian constitution.
He used the occasion to turn the academia to not be more inclined to theory but specialise in skills and establish ICT hubs to get young talents who will solve the varying challenges of Nigeria. He urged the academia to bridge the gap between it and a digital economy industry so as to develop.

In his remark, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of the University, Prof. ‘Femi Odenkunle appreciated the Minister for accepting to deliver the lecture adding that FUT, Minna being the leading specialized university in Nigeria, the lecture was very relevant to the audience.
Speaking earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Abdullahi Bala, FSSSN, thanked the Minister for honouring the invitation because the guest lecturer in spite of his busy schedule and said his presence was an honour that has added glamour to the occasion.

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