Technology and marketing experts at the biggest technology gathering, Techplus 2016, have advised the Federal Government and businesses to focus on long term technology plan as the future of the world will be defined by the evolving indispensable phenomenon.
President of the Advertisers' Association of Nigeria (ADVAN), Mr. David Ikeme while delivering his presentation titled: 'Disruption & impact on Global Brands', said the possibility of billions of people connected by mobile devices, with unprecedented processing power, storage capacity, and access to knowledge, is unlimited. He said these possibilities will be multiplied by emerging technology breakthroughs in fields such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of things, robotics, 3-D printing, autonomous vehicles and the rest.
“Tech is the biggest thing in business today and any business owner that does not want to integrate technology will find it very difficult to survive. Government has a significant role to play in this by providing the basic infrastructures”, he said.
Ikeme cited the popular quote of Alvin Toefller that "illiteracy in the 21st Century will not be the inability to read and write, but rather to learn, unlearn and re-learn"
Speaking on the need for government long-term plan on technology, Professor of strategic management at University of Navarra Business School in Barcelona, Prof. Joan Enric-Ricart said the nature of government involvement in the nation’s science and technology enterprise is changing drastically, and the effectiveness of that role will depend increasingly on a well-informed electorate.
“Emergence of smart cities across the world today did not just happen by nature but rather by the preparation and action of the government with a vision that involves the people. The more enabling environment for technology created by the government often determines the rate of socio-economic development of every country.
“Government need to provide the physical infrastructure which will serve as a catalyst for organic growth, cover hard connectivity gaps, urban density and boost intelligence. For example, the cityof Barcelona was able to become a smart city today because government in the last 25 years had an inclusive vision. We cannot share prosperity if we don’t create inclusive prosperity. Hence, collaboration and putting the citizen at the centre are centrifugal to transformation of every country”, he said.
Technology innovation catalyst fromthe United States, Kamran Elahian, said technology has not just created a global village but also created equal window of opportunity for all, irrespective of race, religion, gender, or social status.
“The first industrial revolution used water and stream power to mechanize production. The second used electric power to create mass production. The third used electronics and information technology to automotive production. Now a fourth industrial revolution is building on the third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. It is characterized by a fusion to technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres, he said.
He charged African government and businesses to think strategically on ways they can develop and adopt technology that will proffer solution to challenges facing the continent.
Dr. Femi Adeluyi, Chief Scientific Officer at the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), stated that the Federal Government has identified the promotion of local content in ICT as an important opportunity the country could tap to create jobs for unemployed Nigerians.
Talking on the 'ICT and Local Content Development for SME’s in a Connected World', Dr. Adeluyi said the government decision to engage in 'Buy Made-in-Nigeria' campaigns was to "appeal to the citizens’ sense of patriotism and painting a picture of the effects of capital flight. He said NITDA has balanced this by compelling the local manufacturers to meet the appropriate standards.
Commenting on compliance and enforcement program on local content, Dr. Adeluyi stressed that the success of a Local Content strategy is only as good as the will to enforce it. "We have embarked on a compliance and enforcement campaign. Some of the highlights include: procurement of Indigenous ICT Product by government bodies (a letter was sent to the VP’s office requesting that a directive be sent to the government bodies engaged with BPP".
He added that pursuing a Local Content Policy has great benefits for any nation; the establishment of an institution to drive the Policy has greatly aided the process in Nigeria. He added that it is necessary to ensure that the local manufacturers maintain a high standard in order to attract and retain clients while the benefits far outweigh the challenges and our experience so far indicate that.