Nigeria will have to spot opportunities for development in the age of technology or be left behind.
This view was shared by experts in Lagos during the Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce April Business Luncheon which held on 25th April, 2019 at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.
“Since the fourth Industrial revolution builds on digital revolution, there is a need for Nigeria to create her own technology instead of depending on foreign technologies and to develop home-grown technology to address the nation’s peculiar needs,” the President, NACC, Otunba Oluwatoyin Akomolafe, said in his opening remarks at the event with the theme, ‘The fourth Industrial Revolution and the Place of Nigeria: What’s Next?’
The fourth Industrial Revolution, also known as Globalisation 4.0 is the current and developing environment in which disruptive technologies and trends such as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality and others would dictate the pace of development among nations.
Akomolafe noted that the topic was worthy of attention in view of the changes that heralded the fourth industrial revolution.
“Nigeria must spot greatly the opportunities the Fourth Industrial Revolution presents to remain competitive and for developmental purposes in order not to be left behind in the emerging revolution,” he said.
He added, “We will now need to re-strategise and begin to engage the younger generation at an early stage with an overhaul of our educational system to accommodate such.
“Nigeria must narrow the gap between the technological potential and the policy agenda required to realise it. Focus must be made on exploring innovative approaches that are being tried and tested to harness the benefits technological advancement provides.”
The NACC president emphasised the need to enhance the use of new technologies to facilitate people’s lives and promote knowledge, development, welfare and trade.
The Country General Manager, IBM Nigeria, Mr. Dipo Faulkner, who was the keynote speaker, said business leaders and government needed to understand the impact and decide how best to serve the interests of their stakeholders while navigating a rapidly changing technological and political landscape.
Faulkner who presented a paper on the challenges and opportunities of the fourth industrial revolution for the government and private sector, noted that the first adopters of technology were usually the ones with the financial means to secure it, and that technology could catapult their continued success, increasing the economic gaps.
He said, “In Nigeria, we need to ask fundamental questions around our successes in the earlier revolutions – do we even have the right infrastructure to be ready for it (electricity, Internet penetration etc.).
“We need all hands on the deck to make a success of the 4IR – government, private sector, particularly the original equipment manufacturers and the educational systems.”