The Nigerian government has again strengthened the digital economy agenda by inaugurating the Digital Economy Industry Working Group (DEIWG), which will serve as an action group and Public Private Dialogue (PPD) platform.
The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, who inaugurated the group on behalf of the Federal Government during the closing ceremony of the Digital Nigeria International Conference held in Abuja, said the group will be saddled with the responsibility of mapping out government initiatives and policies that are affecting the private sector pertaining to the Digital Economy.
“The Digital Economy Industry Working Group will harmonise and harness the work done by both the FMoCDE and the NESG to unlock the potentials of a fully Digital Economy and deliver benefits to the public, private and social enterprise sectors, with a view to supporting the delivery of the short, medium and long-term ministerial strategy for driving the growth of the Digital Industry in Nigeria,” he said.
The Minister highlighted the objectives of the group including establishing a Public-Private Partnership Platform as a communication link between the public and private sectors to drive the Digital Economy Policies and Strategies; to create a framework for strengthening the immediate delivery of initiatives based on the 8 pillars as outlined in the Nigerian Digital Economic Policy and Strategy (2020-2030); to facilitate the creation of an Enterprise Programs Management Office (EPMO) and funding mechanism which will serve as a framework of funding for DEIWG Secretariat and to formulate, in partnership with the government, mechanisms that drive and catalyse growth and increase investments in the Digital Economy.
Other objectives of the group are to examine the current efforts by the Federal Government to digitally transform through policies, projects and programmes and co-create a private sector response plan; to facilitate a leadership mindset that is digital-driven for shared prosperity and shared national vision and drive continuity of the policies to enhance the institutional arrangement that drives the Digital Economy and to call to action on the private sector to take the lead of the creation of the Nigeria Digital Economy Policy and Strategy.
Highlighting the composition of the group, the Minister noted that it comprises government representatives, the private sector and the academia adding that it is a model the ministry has adopted in the last three years. “We don’t formulate policies alone, we ensure that we bring together all stakeholders to work with us as part of the implementation model, we try to interact with other people from different sectors, this is what we are promoting.”
Meanwhile, the minister has disclosed that he has directed National Information Technology Development Agency and Nigerian Communications Commission to come up with the National Cyber Security Research Centre in Nigeria.
Prof. Pantami noted the centre when completed would actively support Nigerian participation in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“We are working on every important component of the Fourth Industrial Revolution because we don’t want to be left behind. As of today, at least five African countries are part of the chase group that are chasing the developed countries and we have been displaying this in so many international events,” he added.
While decrying that Africa missed out on the previous three Industrial Revolutions, he expressed delight that the Fourth Industrial Revolution would usher in hope for Africa because it is a knowledge-based revolution.