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Minister solicits support for National Digital Economy , E- governance bill

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PAULETTE ORJIME, Abuja

 

MINISTER  of Communications and Digital Economy,  Dr. Bosun Tijani has  canvassed support for the National Digital Economy and e-Governance Bill.

He said when the Bill was passed into law, it would provide legal framework and accelerate progress in the digital economy agenda.

 

Speaking at a media engagement on the bill on Tuesday  in Abuja, the minister said that Nigeria’s digital economy had been projected to generate N18.3 billion by 2026, which had the capacity to revolutionize the economy of the nation.

 

According to Tijani, Nigeria has unicorn companies like Flutterwave, Jumia, Andela and Interswitch which have demonstrated that digital economy is strong and can lift the country to where it should be.

 

“Technology is providing jobs for our young ones because presently, there is job deficit in the tech ecosystem which we need to put measures in place to take hold of the sector.

 

“This bill will accelerate the progress in our digital economy because there is no clear legislation in that space.

 

“We believe that the bill will support the growth and transformation of Nigeria’s economy through the application and the use of this technology in all facets of life in Nigeria.

 

“This bill will create the enabling environment for fair competition, promote innovation, growth and competitiveness for Nigerian economy,” the Minister said.

 

Tijani added that,  when the bill is passed into law, it will be implemented in all the six geopolitical zones of the country.

 

Malam Kashifu Inuwa, the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), said the bill would enhance the use of digital economy in the entire country, both in government and the private sector.

 

Inuwa, who was represented at the occasion by the Director, Standards, Guidelines and Frameworks Department, Mr Emmanuel Edet, urged Nigerians to embrace digital technology as an enabler.

 

The D-G added that the ecosystem was growing, hence the need to harness its potential to drive economic desires with the country’s youthful population and digital skills.

 

“The bill tries to ensure that digital capabilities are accommodated in our everyday lives and experiences,” he said.

 

He mentioned that the bill was structured in 16 parts with over 60 sections and would address validity of electronic, digital transactions, digital contracts, signatures and time stamps.

 

“The bill will address topics like consumer protection for digital transactions, use of technology such as Artificial Intelligence, blockchains for public services, among others.”

 

According to him, people should not feel scared of losing their jobs to technology because people are likewise gaining jobs with the integration of technology.

 

He said: “technology offers opportunities, it is unique and people should find their niche and build on it.”

 

“Part of other objectives of the bill is to mandate, promote and enable the digital transformation of public institutions and government processes for efficient and effective service delivery.”

 

The DG noted that, “the bill also seeks to create a basis and process for secure, reliable and confidential data exchange for reusability and innovation, provide a framework for the systematic development of digital literacy to support citizens for improved life, among other objectives.”

 

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