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LCCI tasks FG on right policies to drive digital economy

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The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has charged the Federal Government to come up with the right policies and regulations that will enable the digital economy to create new possibilities and economic opportunities for businesses and investors.

Michael Olawale-Cole, president of the LCCI, said this at the ninth edition of the chamber’s Information Communication Technology and Telecommunication (ICTEL) Expo on Tuesday in Lagos.

The 2023 ICTEL conference and expo is with the theme, “Tech disrupt: Transforming industries with innovation”. Olawale-Cole said the government and private organisations must continually leverage technology for innovation, competitiveness, and resilience in the face of risks and uncertainties.

He noted that with technology having more relevance in the business world, the sector was fast becoming the fastest-growing sector in the non-oil sector of the Nigerian economy.

According to him, ICT has continued to disrupt the practice of agriculture, healthcare, learning, and manufacturing.

“We are presently experiencing innovative solutions driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation, robotics, and wearable technologies.

Read also: Nigerians can’t afford new phones as economy bites

“The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that the tech sector in the first quarter of 2023 recorded a growth rate of 10.32 percent in real terms, year-on-year, and contributed 17.47 percent to the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the first quarter of 2023.

“This is higher than in the same quarter of the previous year in which it represented 16.20 percent and higher than the preceding quarter in which it represented 16.22 percent.

“The digital economy or the internet economy enables and supports various business, social and government activities through electronic commerce, lifestyle apps, and e-government platforms, respectively.

“By this, the digital economy is considered the single most important driver of innovation, competitiveness, and growth,” he said.

The LCCI president said that by means of innovation, the ICT sector continues to power many sectors today, driving competitiveness, cost-efficiency, and resilience in supply chains.

He added that innovative disruptions were emerging in agric-tech, health tech, edu-tech, e-government, and many other sectors.

Olawale-Cole stated that the expo created a platform for key players and stakeholders in the ICT industry to share perspectives on emerging issues and trends in the digital economy.

He added that the event would activate a learning journey of technologies disrupting business, academia, and even lifestyles.

“As an advocacy pressure group and a lead promoter of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), we appreciate the significance of this sector to business growth and sustainability.

“To this end, we are ready to lend necessary support to the actualisation of the goals set out by the government to build and sustain a robust and supportive digital economy.

“We are pleased to announce our collaboration with credible institutions like the federal ministry of communications and digital economy, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), the National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA), and others.