YBTC News—In 2019, the Nigerian government announced its decision to accelerate the quest for a Digital Economy, in doing this the Ministry of Communications was renamed to Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.
Truth be told, after this singular event, Nigerians have witnessed projects and efforts toward the Digital economy goal of the country. While this is very commendable, it is expected to also have further impact going forward on the ecosystem of the country.
In a country blessed with vibrant and innovative youths, the digital economy could not have come at a better time. The global market is also digital.With this, it is particularly important that Nigerian youths are helped to become global players. Becoming a global player without understanding core digital values is a tall order and with the NITDA being the agency responsible for training and capacity development of Nigerians in the digital economy, this component is utmostly important.
Before now, we have seen in the media plans of the agency and also witnessed many. Therefore, the need to have a Nigerian digital economy and making Nigerians understand the plans of the government is very key.
It is very interesting to note that even the old are keen to understand what the digital development is about. I have begun to see elderly men wanting to understand how to use their phone for online transactions, how to leverage on online media to grow their own business they do at their old age, many even want to use emails and understand what social media development means, years before now that was not so.
The zeal of youths in the rural areas who now see the opportunity Digital world provides is an ample opportunity for NITDA.
While the Digital Literacy program of the agency continues to run, the Digital Literacy component is key more to those whose understanding of the Digital economy would start taking away pain of unemployment.
While there is the big sector player for the Digital economy, the small sector factor remains very critical. I must make it important to commend the NITDA for going to states to train farmers on the act of using digital tools for their farming businesses and for launching the Agricultural program, NAVSA, this would also aid Small and Medium Scale enterprises.
The beautiful work done by NITDA is having desired impact and Nigerian youths are more active digitally now than ever. Having interacted with many youth, the rate of leveraging on the online platform for their own survival and growth is important to them.
Programs aimed at orientating those in rural areas about converting their own phone to a business place will help to boost the ecosystem and have a desired impact on the Gross Domestic Product of the country.
While the projects of NITDA and the leadership style is very commendable , we have a larger percentage of Nigerians who are out there with the immediate concern on the Digital economy translating to being able to earn something through their smartphone or their social media.
It is again very important to note that top policies are important but for the participation of more Nigerians, the biggest ambassadors are the youths and SME owners in the Rural part of the country.
To them the Digital Economy does not largely entail key policies because the current day reality is not just key policies but immediate translation into their own source of survival while leveraging on Digital tools; to them that is the Digital Economy.
It is on the verge of this that they can keep spreading the mandate of digital economy to their own friends, families and even neighbours.
It is important to commend NITDA on the work done on innovation and entrepreneurship as factors of the digital economy.
While the NITDA cannot do it alone, partnerships with state government, national orientation agency, traditional rulers, youth bodies, media among others remain very key.
Nigerians are also encouraged to key in into existing programs of the agency by understanding that the Digital economy is on the right path and has come to stay.
Olanrewaju Oyedeji is the Coordinator of the Digital Literacy Advocacy Club. He writes from Abuja