Minister Drums support For National Digital Economy

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The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Bosun Tijani, solicits support for the National Digital Economy and e-Governance Bill.

He said when the Bill is passed into law, it would provide the legal framework and speed up progress in the digital economy agenda.

The minister who spoke at a media engagement on the bill in Abuja, explained that Nigeria’s digital economy had been projected to generate N18.3 billion by 2026, which had the capacity to change the economy of the nation.

According to him, Nigeria has unicorn companies like Flutterwave, Jumia, Andela and Interswitch which have demonstrated that digital economy is strong and can lift the country to where it should be.

“Technology is providing jobs for our young ones because presently, there is job deficit in the tech ecosystem which we need to put measures in place to take hold of the sector.

“This bill will accelerate the progress in our digital economy because there is no clear legislation in that space.

“We believe that the bill will support the growth and transformation of Nigeria’s economy through the application and the use of this technology in all facets of life in Nigeria.

“This bill will create the enabling environment for fair competition, promote innovation, growth and competitiveness for Nigerian economy,” Tijani said.

According to him, when the bill is passed into law, it will be incorporated into all the six geopolitical zones of the country.

Malam Kashifu Inuwa, the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), said the use of digital economy in the entire country, both in government and the private sector, would be enhanced with the bill.

Inuwa, represented by the Director, Standards, Guidelines and Frameworks Department, Mr Emmanuel Edet, urged Nigerians to embrace digital technology as an enabler.

“The bill tries to ensure that digital capabilities are accommodated in our everyday lives and experiences,” he said.

He mentioned that the bill was structured in 16 parts with over 60 sections and would address validity of electronic, digital transactions, digital contracts, signatures and time stamps.

“The bill will address topics like consumer protection for digital transactions, use of technology such as Artificial Intelligence, blockchains for public services, among others.”

According to him, people should not feel scared of losing their jobs to technology because people are likewise gaining jobs with the integration of technology.

He said: “technology offers opportunities, it is unique and people should find their niche and build on it.”

“Part of other objectives of the bill is to mandate, promote and enable the digital transformation of public institutions and government processes for efficient and effective service delivery.

“The bill also seeks to create a basis and process for secure, reliable and confidential data exchange for reusability and innovation, provide a framework for the systematic development of digital literacy to support citizens for improved life, among other objectives,” he stressed.

Senate Committee Chairman on ICT and Cybercrimes, Sen. Shuaib Salisu and Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Digital and Information Communication Technology, Rep. Stanley Adedeji, pledged lawmakers’ commitment towards the adoption and implementation of the bill.

 

 

NAN/ Chidimma Gold

 

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