NIGERIA’S DIGITAL LEAP: LESS PAPER MORE PROGRESS

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Nigeria’s Ministry of Communication, Innovation, and Digital Economy is poised to revolutionise administrative processes with the introduction of the National Digital Economy Law. This bill aims to establish a legal framework for electronic transactions, digital signatures, e-government, and other technical components; paving the way for a significant reduction in paper-based procedures over the next two years.

Outlined in the ministry’s four-year strategic blueprint, the Minister, Dr. Bosun Tijani envisions the Digital Economy Law as a catalyst for Nigeria’s swift transition to digital platforms. The law’s enactment, anticipated by the end of 2024, is poised to replace paper-based practices by 50% by the close of 2026. This transformative shift would align Nigeria with forward-thinking nations like the UAE and Estonia, already thriving in paperless environments.

Turning attention to the National Broadband Plan, Minister Tijani emphasises its pivotal role in driving Nigeria’s digital transformation. With a current broadband penetration rate of approximately 50%, the ministry is steadfast in its commitment to achieve a 70% penetration target by 2025,; ensuring internet access for underserved communities. The plan encompasses initiatives for robust infrastructure, spectrum management, and incentive structures to fuel investments.

The ministry’s strategic blueprint is built upon five core pillars: Knowledge, Policy, Infrastructure, Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Capital (IEC), and Trade. Each pillar interlocks; forming the bedrock of their strategy. Knowledge and sound policies underpin innovation, while infrastructure provides the backbone for a thriving digital economy. Innovation and entrepreneurship drive economic diversification, and trade highlights their global collaborative approach.

Minister Tijani expressed confidence in Nigeria’s ability to overcome challenges on this transformative journey. Embracing technology’s potential, the ministry aims to elevate Nigeria’s global standing, foster sustainable employment, and enhance the quality of life for all Nigerians. This visionary approach signals a significant leap into a digitally empowered future.

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