The journey to Digital prosperity lies in the efforts of governmental entities to initiate, ideate, implement, monitor and allocate the right resources in the execution of digital initiatives for Nigeria, writes ATIKU ABUBAKAR.
It gives me great pleasure to be part of the celebratory launch of this very important book, one that truly resonates with me. I am particularly thankful to the author of this book, Aaron Ukodie, who has taken the initiative to document the historic journey of Nigeria’s ICT and Telecommunications prosperity and how this has inspired our achievements in this sector till date. It is no doubt that the introduction of the GSM revolution made possible by Digital Mobile Licensing, has reshaped the economical and social wellbeing of Nigerians and Nigeria as a country.
It is also an honour to be acknowledged through this book as one of the pioneers of and contributors to Nigeria’s digital transformation within the ICT sector, in addition to the efforts of the Nigerian Communications Commission. I am immensely proud to be associated with something so significant in Nigeria’s history and even more thankful to be here today to acknowledge this recognition. As with some of the insights of this book, which tells the true story of our digitization journey, I must also applaud Aaron Ukodie in the delivery of this piece, which boldly encapsulates his mastery and experience as a journalist for decades.
ICT and Telecoms in Nigeria
Nigeria currently accounts for 82 per cent of Africa’s ICT market, described as one of the fastest growing ICT hubs globally, with the sector being a major contributor to the Nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). These significant milestones are a testament of my commitment and the visionary leadership of the government that I served in as the Vice President of Nigeria, wherein I was in charge of the country’s economic management team.
The evolution of the country’s ICT and telecoms industry, started with the GSM which was launched in August 2001 under our administration, and has since revolutionized the face of ICT in Nigeria. In February 2002, I inaugurated a 22-member Telecommunications Sector Reform implementation committee, aimed at increasing access to phone services for Nigerians, primarily through the GSM, and further facilitated all necessary licensing for the GSM to come into effect in Nigeria. This is an achievement I am entirely proud of and further reinforces my credentials as a digitally inclined leader, aware of revolutions that need to take place for our country to move forward and reach her full potential.
I must also commend all the stakeholders in the ICT sector, (a significant number of whom are here today), who have played significant roles in the transitioning and growth of this sector into what it is today. As we are all aware the GSM has further expanded into the internet age which has put Nigeria on a pedestal to innovation, technology, digital transformation, and inspiring our young people to do even more. I am truly happy with the prospects of what the future holds in this sector.
As a leader, I have seen firsthand the significant impact digital creates across the different sectors of our economy, and the endless opportunities that remain untapped. On this continuous journey, I feel a responsibility to continue to support Nigeria and the young people of Nigeria, on its digitization agenda, and this forms a core part of my campaign promise and delivery to the Nation, in my current quest to be the next President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, come May 29, 2023.
We can attest that the journey to Digital prosperity lies in the efforts of governmental entities to initiate, ideate, implement, monitor and allocate the right resources in the execution of digital initiatives for Nigeria. Like I earlier mentioned, I commend the efforts of the author of this book, as it is important to document Nigeria’s journey through books such as this and remind ourselves that a lot can be achieved when we come together and make collective decisions to move our country forward.
As I close, I would like to say thank you very much for your time and attention and I look forward to highly impactful discussions of the day.
Once again, congratulations to Aaron Ukodie, for this masterful book.
God bless you all.
- Being the remarks of Nigeria’s former Vice President and Presidential Flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) Atiku Abubakar, (GCON), Waziri Adamawa, at the Launch of the book titled ‘Nigeria: Drivers of Digital Prosperity, at Oriental Hotel, Lagos, south west, Nigeria, on Thursday July 7, 2022.