James Emejo in Abuja

President of the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Dr. Al-Mujtaba Abubakar, has urged the federal and state governments to deepen private sector participation in the drafting of digital economy policies so as to reap maximal benefits.
He said amidst the uncertainty in oil sector and global drive against fossil fuel, the digital economy holds the key especially for a country with a youth dominated demography.

Speaking at the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on digital economy policy between the chamber and the Continental Project Affairs Associates Ltd. (CPAA) in Abuja, he said government’s presence within the ICT sector was a recognition of the digital shift within the economy as ICT contribution to the GDP had been on the increase every quarter.

He added that the potential of the sector as a job creator is well documented.

Abubakar said: “We note the giant strides the ICT sector has taken under the present administration. We particularly commend the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr. Ibrahim Pantanmi on the various initiatives so far introduced.

He added: “Government’s efforts cannot fully yield desired effect unless the private sector is effectively integrated into the making and implementation of the digital economy policy.

“Worldwide, the private sector is put on the driver seat to speed up innovation and cost efficient operations of the ever widening sector.

“Designing a digital economy policy without the strong input of the private sector is therefore a serious error.”

He said to develop the sector effectively, engagement with the private sector remained crucial adding that policies emerging from such consultation will integrate the aspirations of the operators and assist the regulators to emerge as facilitators.

“That is why the ACCI as a leading chamber in Nigeria decides to institute a Digital Economy Policy Series. The series will regularly dwell on ICT Policy issues and produce policy contributions”, he said in a statement by the ACCI Media Officer, Olayemi John-Mensah.

Executive Chairman, CPAA, Mr. Olusegun Olugbile said his group wanted a viable relationship in which the business sector will be able to coordinate itself and engage government appropriately in the ongoing task of designing and implementing a robust national digital economy policy.