The Director General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) Mal. Kashifu Inuwa has posited that digitisation of MSMEs will increase revenue by 26 percent as well as reduce operating costs by 22 percent, and contribute 53b USD to the Nigerian economy.
The DG, stated this while delivering an opening remark at TechMyBiz Pitch-A-Thon event in Lagos held at the Digital Transformation Center Nigeria (DTC Nigeria), which was jointly funded by the European Union (EU) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, noted that SMEs make up a huge percentage of businesses and economic growth.
“Firstly, we need to create innovation-friendly conditions in our country in terms of enabling policies and laws, government services, ease of doing business, and so on.
“Secondly, we need to have support organisations — platforms that will assist to digitise MSMEs for innovation hubs around the country to incubate ideas, because innovation is a process of taking an idea from inception to impact that means you can have an idea, and you can be innovative, but that is not enough, you need to commercialise your ideas,” he said
He said despite the available opportunities, there are challenges that need to be addressed in order to realise the potential of digital transformation in SMEs. Such challenges, according to him include infrastructure, which is important for MSMEs to thrive.
The TechMyBiz Pitch-a-thon which is a process of selecting Digital Innovations in Africa started with a “Call for Digital Solutions” campaign, that offered a platform for many innovators, entrepreneurs and startups within the Nigerian ecosystem to register their already created digital solutions, from which 30 are expected to emerge as winners out of the 50 selected for the Pitch-a-thon event running from the 12th -14th July 2023.
Others in attendance were, Mr Markus Wauschkuhn, Coordinator Commission Social Policy, Education, Employment, Research and Culture (SEDEC); Technical Lead Evaluation Expert Charles Emembolu; representatives of the European Union(EU); ISN Board; and other industry experts.