Friday, 16 September 2016

Digital Nigeria Will Help Drive Inclusive Growth – Airtel’s CEO



Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Airtel Nigeria, Segun Ogunsanya, has called on the Federal Government to prioritize digitization, noting that focus on a vision of digital Nigeria will help drive inclusive growth.
Ogunsanya who was speaking, last Wednesday, at the second edition of the Nigeria Stock Exchange CEO Roundtable, said the mass adoption of connected digital services by consumers, enterprises, and governments, will emerge as a major driver and enabler of socio-economic benefits, driving inclusive growth across sectors.
According to him, implementing a vision of digital Nigeria will not only help diversify the economy for good but will also create massive employment opportunities and provide citizens opportunities and access to education, health, while opening up other sectors.
Illustrating the massive impact of digitization to economic growth and development, Ogunsanya said an increase in a country’s digitisation score fuels growth in its GDP per capita. Indeed, “ICT is important to every sector as it provides the right platform to drive the economy,” he noted.
Speaking further, the Airtel CEO also urged the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria to classify the telecoms sector under Manufacturing as this will enable players in the sector benefit from the current Foreign Exchange direction.
He noted that the sector manufactures recharge cards and also provide high end telecommunications equipment that helps accelerate growth and adoption of mobile Internet and voice services in the country.
Speaking to the theme of the event, navigating the changing landscape of business in Nigeria, Mr. Ogunsanya said Airtel has adopted a model that is focussed on innovation, cost optimization and provision of bespoke mobile Internet and telecommunications services to its consumers.
“The telecoms industry is a unique one because while prices are rising everywhere our prices are falling because we have been able to create innovative ways to meet the needs of our customers without increasing costs.”
While speaking on the economy Mr. Ogunsanya noted that though foreign exchange is still a critical issue, Nigeria has the fundamentals for growth through its huge population, large land mass and opportunities for diversification.
He urged the government to make Nigeria inviting for investors by creating a vision for the country which will aid Nigeria’s economic identity.
He also called for tangible components which will safeguard investments in Nigeria such as better business policies, improved security system as well as efficient transportation system. 
In his keynote address, the CEO, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Oscar Onyema said the need for the forum was timely and relevant as a result of the strong headwinds affecting the Nigerian economy.

Onyema noted that it has become imperative to get multifaceted views on how to overcome the persistent challenges in our economy.