By Martin Ekpeke

Stakeholders at this year’s Information Communications Technology and Telecommunications Expo (ICTEL EXPO) has urged Nigerians to explore the several opportunities inherent in a digital economy, especially in this Covid-19 era, which has confine many individuals and organizations at home.

Specifically, the stakeholders at the event, organized by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), argued that there is no better time to explore the opportunities provided by the digital economy than now when every nation is seeking ways to overcome the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Giving her welcome remarks at the virtual event, the President of Lagos Chamber Of Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Toki Mabogunje, noted that as nations continued to face dwindling growth occasioned by the pandemic, deployment of technology is key to economic recovery and sustainability. Thus, Nigeria as a nation must explore the opportunities provided by the pandemic and help get the economy back on track through Information and Communication Technology.

“The Covid-19 pandemic provides enormous potentials yet to be tapped. We must find a way to unveil these potentials through the ICT sector, which has seen Nigeria witnessed a phenomenal growth over the past two decades. The ICT sector remains one of the most resilient sectors of the Nigerian economy even in the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic. This Expo is one of the major platforms that offer opportunities to unlock these potentials,” she said.

Some participants captured at the virtual ICTel and Expo

She argued that ICT has become the backbone of businesses, government, and personal lives, automating businesses to be more profitable, efficient, safer, and more environmentally friendly.

According to her, this is evident in the financial services sector, where almost all banking transactions are conducted through digital channels; the agricultural sector, where sophisticated technologies such as robots, temperature and moisture sensors, aerial images, and Global Position System (GPS) technology are largely deployed.

Other areas are the consumer goods sector where online stores and e-commerce have brought an incredible transformation to retail business; the medical sciences where ICT applications are now being widely used for telemedicine, more precise diagnostics, administrative efficiency and medical research.

The theme of this virtual EXPO is: ‘Exploring Opportunities in the Digital Economy: The New Reality’.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Communications & Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Pantami, who was the Special Guest of Honour at the 2-day event, has hailed the Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry for organising this Information Communication Technology and Telecommunications Conference and Exhibition, ICTEL EXPO 2020, saying the event put a spotlight on the national discourse on how Nigeria can take advantage of digital technology to accelerating the economy.

The Minister, who was represented at the event by Mr. Ayuba Shuaibu, Executive Secretary, Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF) also argued that globally, the digital revolution is changing lives and societies with unprecedented speed and scale, delivering immense opportunities as well as associated challenges.

“As predicted by the World Economic Forum, over 60 percent of global Gross Domestic  Product (GDP) will be digitised by 2022 and that over the next decade, digital platforms will be used to create close to 70 percent of new value,” he said.

This, he stressed Nigeria cannot afford to miss out as the digital economy is creating opportunities in the emerging world.

“Innovations resulting from digital technologies are impacting virtually every sector (retail, transport and logistics, financial services, manufacturing, education, healthcare and broadcasting).  The new reality is that the digital transformation of our economy has become imperative for sustainable national development,” he stressed further.

The Minister added that now is the time to quicken Nigeria’s alignment of its digital transformation agenda with its economic needs, noting that businesses are shifting from brick and mortar form to innovative enterprises driven by digital technologies.

“This new reality and lessons learned from the ‘new normal’ arising from the COVID-19 pandemic make it mandatory for Nigeria, like other developing countries to rise up to the challenge, innovate and occupy her place in the global digital economy,” he urged.

2020 ICTel and Expo attracted participation from the public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy. Some of the participants are the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, the Nigerian Communications Commission, Galaxy Backbone Limited and Members of the Diplomatic Corps. Others, especially from the private sector are MainOne, Kewalram Chanrai Group, Rack Centre and Firstbank.


ITPulse is a wholly information technology communication (ICT) news website, with a special focus on the African continent. The website provides up-to-date biz-tech news, analysis and comprehensive and thorough insight into the continent's ICT terrain

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