Tech innovations can salvage Nigeria’s economy- Omeruo
Mr. Kenneth Omeruo, CEO, Emerging Media made the call in a chat with Nigeria CommunicationsWeek on how technological innovations can lift the nation out of the current turbulent economic situations.
Omeruo said, “A closer look at Lagos, Abuja and other business hubs in Nigeria, one finds it easy to see the progress made through innovations and the effects on these cities – busy streets, construction of skyscrapers, construction and commissioning of some of the shopping malls, and an emerging 24-hour business culture driven largely by a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) boom.
According to him, it was predicted that the country would remain on the speed-lane of economic growth, thus, the economy will continue to flourish even in the era when oil price at the international market has gone as low as $40/barrel; but, in general, the economy is facing enormous challenges at the moment.
He lamented that the inability of Government at different levels to leverage ICT, despite Nigeria’s economic situation paints a picture of an economy in disarray; “getting worse by the day and represents a bleak future for the youths in particular”.
He listed unemployment as a time-bomb ready to explode soon, citing recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) as evidence of endemic poverty and hopelessness among the youths.
Speaking on the way forward, he said “There is no need beating about the bush. To overcome the impending unemployment and economic kegs of ‘gunpowder’, there is urgent need to explore non-oil sectors towards achieving sustainable development in Nigeria. Therefore, innovation is key! Actually, innovation has been one of the major buzzwords in the corporate world in recent years, spreading not only at the corridors of technology hubs and labs, but also corporate institutions in emerging economies like Nigeria.
“These are some of the reasons we are working on a pan-Nigerian Innovation Summit. We are set to partner with the world’s leading innovation providers from academia, government and industry to connect Nigerian businesses and Innovators to global innovation ecosystems; no doubt, this will help Nigeria embrace innovation and move in the direction of digital transformation through the use of Emerging Technologies and Trends, Research, Development, Commercialization, Entrepreneurship and Investments as the key drivers of an innovation ecosystem and sustainable development. There is no better time to promote innovation in Nigeria than now.
“Unfortunately, in the latest Global Innovation Index which ranks the innovation performance of 128 countries and economies around the world, based on 82 indicators, Nigeria appeared on that index as a country far away from innovation because Nigeria does not invest in Innovation”.
Omeruo said that innovation for any country or people does not come by mere wishing it, rather driven by huge investments in research and development, promoting greater entrepreneurship spirit. These are the bedrocks on which prosperous economies are built.