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Nigeria can generate $40bn from supply of talents – DG NITDA

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…Says Nigeria can export talents, become world’s super power

By Chimezie Godfrey

As a paradym shift from over reliance from crude oil, it has been said that Nigeria could generate $40bn from the exportation of talents.

This assertion was made by the Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Kashifu Inuwa at the closing ceremony of the “Digital Nigeria 2022” held in Abuja on Thursday.

Inuwa noted that there was 2million talent gap globally, adding that Nigeria has the capacity to fill the gap.

He noted that Nigeria has all it takes to be world’s best supplier of talent, adding that Nigeria can generate up to $40bn from exporting talents.

He said,”When we talk about digital economy or digital innovations, what is most important is not what is lying underneath view, but it is what you have in your brain. Nigerian brains are excellent, just recalled the quote from PWC, infact they say Nigeria can export brains and become world’s super power.

“Talking about how most Asian countries develop, they started with end manufacturing to high end manufacturing then they developed but it took them not less than 40 years to become developed.

“We don’t have 40 years to waste, we want to become a developed country, and the easiest way for us is to employ full talent. According to the PWC research, they say that there is urgent need of 2million developers in the global value chain, and Nigeria has the potential to fill that gap.

“A developer earn averagely between $35,000 to $150,000, so, let say averagely if Nigeria can supply that 2million and they will earn $20,000 averagely that means Nigeria can make $40bn from just exporting brain, that is far more than what we make from oil and gas,” Inuwa said.

In his remark, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami said revealed that they have made major gains and achievements within the digital economy sector, pointing out that the 8 priority areas given to them by President Buhari have all been fully delivered.

The Minister who added that they have some other initiatives on the pipeline to deliver to Nigerians, declared that the Start-Up Act 2022 is one of the important legacies that the administration of President Muhammadu would bequeath to Nigerians.

He said,”I am highly excited that we converge here today for the closing ceremony of digital Nigeria international conference taking place here at the International Conference in Abuja. And this is the maiden edition of digital Nigeria conference. The reason why we call it the maiden edition, previously we used to conduct eNigeria conference, but because of crafting the new policy of national digital economy policy and strategy for a digital Nigeria, then the mantra of our digital economy sector is digital Nigeria.

“It is because of this to ensure there is alignment in the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy, which is the most important policy and all the remaining policies have been developed in order to simplify its implementation, and also His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the 24th of October every month to be a digital Nigeria day.

“In order to ensure the alignment of all these, we decided to rename the eNigeria conference to digital Nigeria international conference and it is because of these we have participants to this conference from nothing less than 18 countries globally in addition to many other participants who have joined us virtually.

“So I congratulate all of us for being part parcel of this maiden edition of the digital Nigeria international conference. Furthermore during the opening ceremony, we outlined some of our major gains and achievements within the digital economy sector particularly the eight priority areas given to us by our principal President Muhammadu Buhari in which with all sense of humility and responsibility we have delivered all of them with a plus flows as assessed by the international independent organizations and the report has been presented to His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari in which he commended our humble effort,

“We have so many initiatives as well in the pipeline as we all know that on the 19th of October 2022 Mr President has assented to our national Nigeria Start-up Act 2022. It was an executive act of government initiative in which in collaboration with the presidency, the office of the Minister of Communications and digital economy crafted the Bill and we present it at the Federal Executive Council on the 15th of December 2021 by 19 October 2022 it becomes a law in Nigeria.

“This is one of the major legacies that this administration of our boss President Buhari will leave behind, because today it is not about natural based economy but rather about knowledge based economy, the talent, how we can harness the talent is what is driving the world. We hardly speak today about Mobil or Chevron or Shell the giants in the oil and gas sector. They have been displaced today by the tech giants globally.

“Whenever we speak about the leading companies in the world today, you will discover that we speak about Apple, Microsoft, among others. Why because the economy of the Word today is being led by talent, most importantly the technological talent. It is because of this with all sense of humility, Nigeria Start-up Act 2022 is one of the major and the most important legislations we have in Nigeria, particularly if you do look at the quality of the law and the approach we adopted, that is bottom up approach where we allow our young innovators, industry players among others to voice out there opinion and the challenges they were being confronted with when It comes to providing the enabling environment for their business or their investment for their companies.”

He noted that Nigeria is doing well when it comes to providing the environment of doing business, adding that despites challenges, they are making tremendous progress in this area.

“Nigeria is doing well when it comes to providing the environment of doing business. We still have challenges, and we are working on addressing the challenges at the national level, but we are making a tremendous progress.

“When this administration came on board, if you look at the World Bank, global rank for the ease of doing business, Nigeria was ranked 170. Within two years, when we initiated some reforms, Nigeria moved higher in the ranking, 39 steps higher within two years. And besides Rwanda, there wasn’t any country that move higher in the global ranking of when it comes to doing business except Nigeria, we moved 39 steps higher, meaning we have overtaken 39 other countries in the global ranking of the ease of doing business from 170 to 131.

“Furthermore, if you look at the World Bank, doing business reform, Nigeria, has been ranked within this years twice among the top 10 most performing countries globally, twice among the top 10 Globally.

“In addition to the initiative, these initiatives are being formulated by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, which been chaired by the vice president of Nigeria, and I also happen to be the member of the Council representing the digital economy sector. We have initiated and implemented over 160 reforms when it comes to the ease of doing business. Most of these initiatives, you will find them like tax holiday, holiday incentives, Pioneer status, visa on arrival, and the automation of evil registering your company online,” he said.

Pantami noted that Nigeria is the biggest economy in Africa, noting that despite challenges the economy is still growing large.

He said,” We are still the largest and the biggest economy in Africa, with all the challenges we have been encountered with, the economy of Nigeria is still growing large, but still, there is room for improvement. And we must continue to improve, as they say the rewards of hard work is more work. So we must continue to work harder and harder and ensure that our country is no more only the Giant Of Africa, but to be among the Giants globally. And this is very possible, and I’m very optimistic.

The Minister stressed that have prioritized to support to the Start-Up Eco-system in Nigeria, adding that the young start-ups are very dear them.

“Our young start-ups are very dear to us, because they are not job seekers, they are job providers. The start-up community is very dear to us, that is why we are going to sacrifice anything to ensure that they are empowered.

“Now, our priority is to support our start-up eco-system. Our priority are the potential job providers,” the Minister said.

Delivering the the vote of thanks, the CEO of the National Data Protection Bureau, NDPB, Dr Vincent Olatunji commended Pantami the amazing work he has been doing in driving the digital economy of the country.

“I have been in public service for over 30 years, I have never seen a minister that has brought the card of change like this one. Honourable you are doing very well, and we are proud of you.

“A lot things are happening in the eco-system to stimulate growth and transformation in Nigeria’s economy,” he said.

The high point of the closing ceremony was the inauguration of the digital economy industry working group by the Minister.

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