Opaleye applauds FG on DEIWG, says public-private partnerships essential for digital economy

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Adewale Opaleye, who is the group chief executive officer of Nigeria’s leading business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce platform Alerzo, has applauded the federal government for constituting the Digital Economy Industry Working Group (DEIWG), a Public Private Dialogue (PPD) platform to boost relationship between the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

Opaleye who noted that a lot would be achieved in the sector with the coming together of public and private sector leaders, said such partnerships are pivotal to achieving the objectives of the federal government’s digital economy policy aimed to diversify the economy as well as deepen the contribution of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to the country’s GDP.

‘‘When we are talking about achieving ICT-led economic growth, standardising the right policy, legal and legislative frameworks that address, in a holistic manner, the peculiar needs of the ICT sector is one good area that all stakeholders must sit together and look at critically. This is one of the reasons the establishment of the Digital Economy Industry Working Group is the right step in the right direction,’’ Opaleye said.

‘‘Without any doubt, the regular interface between the NESG and MCDE, which the setting up of Public Private Dialogue (PPD) platform will foster, will set the bigger stage for  unlocking the potentials of a fully digitalised economy for the country. As enumerated by the minister, I am optimistic that the PPD will also deliver benefits to the public, private and social enterprise sectors, as well as support the delivery of a good strategy imperative to drive the growth of the digital industry in Nigeria – in the short, medium and long-terms,” he concluded..

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Professor Isa Pantami, recently launched DEIWG as a public–private initiative to fashion out strategy for a closer working relationship between the public and private sector leaders in the ICT sector with a view to strengthening the sector as a significant non-oil contributor to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP). 

He had said that the body was also expected to look at the multiple government initiatives and policies affecting private sector operators in the digital economy space with a view to harmonising them. Further, he stated that the objectives of the ICT working group also included the establishment of a Public-Private Partnership Platform as a communication link between the public and private sectors to drive the digital economy policies and strategies; as well as create a framework for strengthening the immediate delivery of initiatives based on the eight pillars as outlined in the Nigerian Digital Economic Policy and Strategy (2020-2030).

Prof. Pantami also said the group was saddled with facilitating the creation of an Enterprise Programs Management Office (EPMO) and funding mechanism which will serve as a framework of funding for DEIWG Secretariat. Others include formulation, in partnership with government, mechanisms that drive and catalyse growth and increase investments in the digital economy; examine the current efforts by the Federal Government to digitally transform through policies, projects and programmes and co-create a private sector response plan.

It will also promote leadership mindset that is digital-driven for Shared Prosperity and Shared National Vision and drive continuity of the policies and enhance the institutional arrangement to drive the digital economy; foster call to action for the private sector to take lead of the creation of the Nigeria Digital Economy showcasing the opportunities in the E-Government Masterplan and Digital Economy Policy and Strategy.

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