Experts have called on the federal government to strengthen digital economy structure in the country for an increased production, marketing and exportation.
The submission was made during an-hour long trade fair which served as a prelude for a-10 day Mega Trade Fair slated for 1st – 10th December. 2023 at Adamasingba Ibadan held at the Balogun Subomi Conference Centre, University of Ibadan.
In his welcome address, Executive Director, Mega Trade Fair, Delight Awoyemi said the vision of the event is to attract and create platform for producers across the country to exhibit and showcase their products, added that he had commenced the initiative 10 years ago.
Awoyemi noted that the 2023’s edition would be a 30 in 1 event as it would cut across Agric sector, Real estate, solid mineral among others.
“It is a value chain ,you get into production, you’lol need Marketing, we find out that there is a huge gap in producing and selling but Mega Trade fair will bridge the gap which will give a soft landing for manufacturing products in the country. We believe 4 months exhibition will help to sensitize ahead of the 1st -10the December Trade fair”
“Interestingly, we have so much in Nigeria that is why you see the likes of UN,US don’t want to break up with Nigeria for they know the value of resources we have. 2010 we started the southwest Regional Trade fair with our major concentration on Agriculture and Solid mineral, within that time we found out that there are so many things …we are still importing, hence the trade fair is targeted at ensuring the more production is taking place in the country and we can think of export from here rather than being the ones importing.”
The Executive director reiterated that digitalizing in the country would go along way such that it promotes healthy global competition.
“Looking at digital technology, the world has gone global, look at China, during Covid-19, they progressed economically, 1o years ago you had to travel everywhere but now you can sit at the comfort of your house, use some apps to deliver products in and out without having to pay a kobo and once the product is certified good ,payment follows and this signals the future of commerce”.
In his keynote lecture, Head, Department of Geology,University of Ibadan and Chairman, Mining Roadmap Implementation Stategy Team for federal government, Prof. Gbenga Okunlola pointed out that there are mineral resources that could increase the nation’s economic revenue including Lithium, Beryllium, Steel, Iron which when figured them out could trigger digital revolution and enhancement of automobile services, power, aviation and defence.
Prof. Okunlola called on both individuals and especially the government at all levels to make use of the deposits in their abundance to harness process through expansion of enabling environment by strengthening the institutions in Mining sector through investment for national economy development while private partnership is formalized.
“Let the institutions be strengthened in the mining system. Those who are for licensing should regulate and evaluate and never to go into investment”
“The government should open it up for people who want to invest, so that if these people get license for investment will enable economy development”, he said.
Similarly, Head, West Africa For CNBC Africa, Adeleye Fabusoro emphasized that digital economy would retrieve Nigerians in diaspora home, enables reduction of waste, recognition of talents into usefulness, measuring talents for global evaluation, eases flow of idea and values among others if government gives room for its thriving.
“Nigerians in diaspora will stay in Nigeria and do their work and be fine- they do not need to be ‘japaing’
Fabusoro implored the government to empower its citizens through grant in learning digitalization and domestication it in schools from elementary classes for retention and effectiveness.
“Instead of student loan alone, the government should inject grant towards development of digital economy and technology so that people can learn those skills even from primary school for better mastery as this could attract better foreign exchange and sustainable growth and development.”
In his reaction, Oyo state governor ,Seyi Makinde ably represented by Executive Assistant on Administration to the governor, Reverend Idowu Ogedengbe promised that the state government would domesticate technology hubs as to enable liberalization of digital economy.
Governor Makinde insisted that his administration has understood challenges faced with lab our intensity and that he would strengthen technology intensity which would increase digital entrepreneurship, assured that a technology hub sited within the Ladoke Akintola University,Ogbomosho would be distributed across the state.
Dignitaries at the fair include the Baale Ekotedo, Chief Taye Ayorinde, technocrats, business personalities both nation and foreign, while several exhibited works included herbs, sewn clothes, food items, steel works among others.