General

Minister seeks support for digital economy, e-governance bill


Dr Bosun Tijani, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, on Tuesday, canvassed support for the National Digital Economy and e-Governance Bill.

He says when the Bill is passed into law, it will provide legal framework and accelerate progress in the country’s digital economy agenda.

The minister, who spoke at a media engagement on the bill in Abuja, said that Nigeria’s digital economy had been projected to generate N18.3 billion by 2026, with capacity to revolutionise the economy of the nation.

According to him, 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.

He noted that ‘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 technology in all facets of life in Nigeria.

‘This bill will create an enabling environment for fair competition, promote innovation, growth and competitiveness for Nigerian economy.’

According to him, 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), also said that 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 , Mr Emmanuel Edet, the Director, Standards, Guidelines and Frameworks Department, urged Nigerians to embrace digital technology as an enabler.

He added that the ecosystem is growing, hence the need to harness its potential to drive economic desires with the country’s youthful population and digital s
kills.

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

He mentioned that the bill is structured in 16 parts with over 60 sections to 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 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,’ he stressed.

Senate Committee Chairman on ICT and Cybercrimes, Sen. Shuaib Salisu and Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Digital and Information Communication Technology, Rep. Stanley Adedeji, pledged lawmakers’ commitment toward the adoption and implementation of the bill.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria