BusinessDay

Imo to leverage tech for industrial growth, job creation

The Imo State government says it is formulating employment-driven industrial policy leveraging technology to create jobs for young people and mitigate negative impacts of economic deprivation and poverty.

Kenneth Amaeshi, the chief economic adviser to the Imo State government, who made this known to BusinessDay, in Owerri, Imo State, said the state was looking at a digital economy to deepen economic development.

Amaeshi, who is a professor of sustainable finance at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy and a visiting professor of leadership and financial markets in Africa at the London School of Economics, United Kingdom, observed that technology firms have overtaken the oil and gas business in wealth creation.

He affirmed that Imo has a large population of talented young people to support a digital driven economy, adding that the digital economy is global and will open the state to the world.

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“It helps you to transcend the limitations of space (or geography).

Someone can stay in Owerri and earn money from overseas, you don’t need to travel.

“There are people here, who stay in their homes and they are working for companies that are not based in Nigeria. And so, it will help a lot in addressing unemployment. That’s what we are trying to do with our industrial policy.

“The job element is always treated as a trickle-down effect – a secondary consideration. The mentality here is we have investors and the jobs will come.

“But what we are trying to do now is to turn this mentality on its head, and use a different model, which is employment-led.

“It doesn’t mean that we are not interested in investors that will bring in money, but we need money, wealth plus jobs. So, in that sense, it helps us to address the challenges of unemployment. And employment is an African problem,” he added.