Michael Olawale Cole, President of LCCI
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has stated that discussions are ongoing to extend participation of its yearly ICTEL expo beyond the shores of the country for the first time after eight editions.
According to the president, LCCI, Dr. Michael Olawale-Cole, the move is to leverage the strength of Nigeria’s neighbours to achieve a virile Information Communication and Technology (ICT) sector for the Nigerian economy.
He stated this at the media launch of the 2022 ICTEL expo scheduled to hold on August 31st to September 1st 2022 in Lagos.
It is on the drawing board as we are planning to invite other countries in Africa as from next year to learn from their strength. It will get to a point when the expo would become an African affair,” he added.
He, however, stated that the choice of the theme of this year’s edition of the ICTEL EXPO tagged “Ensuring Efficient Digital Infrastructure in Nigeria” is appropriate and timely -not just because digitalisation is contemporary and topical, but because Africa and indeed Nigeria -generally speaking- seemed to be very slow in coming to terms with the far- reaching implications of an increasingly digitalised world.
“Yes, the Federal Government has demonstrated considerable interest in a digital economy, as manifested, for instance, with the change of the name of the former Ministry of Communications to the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy; however, a lot more needs to be done to ensure that government agencies are truly digital and their services truly accessible digitally,” he advised.
He commended the Federal Government’s announcement of a target of $40 billion private capital investment in digital infrastructure by 2025, besides facilitating about $1 billion in private equity, saying that it deserves the focus that the 2022 ICTEL expo is giving to it.
He added that the 2022 ICTEL EXPO is providing a great opportunity to influence national discourse on digital infrastructure in Nigeria.
“This is significant for businesses and professionals who will be impacted significantly by an efficient and effective digital infrastructure. The expo will therefore provide the required information, robust discussion and inspiration, which many Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) need in their quest for improved knowledge, business growth and sustainability,” he stressed.
The LCCI boss also pointed out that the 2022 ICTEL expo was also planned to provide aspiring entrepreneurs, Tech Start-Ups and thousands of unemployed and underemployed Nigerians yet another opportunity for an enriching learning experience, capacity building, mentoring, connecting with investors and employers of labour and listening to life-changing accounts from different stakeholders.
“I am also confident that the 2022 ICTEL EXPO will have a significant impact on policy initiatives and advocacy, especially in the ICT and telecommunication space,” he said.
He challenged the various governments -at federal, state and local government levels-to rise to the challenges of the increasing technological revolution generally if the nation’s dream for a truly great nation must be realized.
Earlier, the Chairman, Trade Promotion Board, LCCI, Engr. Leye Kupoluyi, said the theme of this year’s edition of the ICTEL EXPO was informed by the government’s announcement of a target of $40 billion private capital investment in digital infrastructure by 2025, besides facilitating about $1 billion in private equity.
“We strongly believe that this initiative by the government, if appropriately executed, would not only provide the enabling environment for a vibrant digital economy, but would impact significantly on job creation, boost businesses, enhance entrepreneurship and minimize criminal tendencies,” he said.
He noted that the 2022 ICTEL EXPO is not just providing a great opportunity to influence national discourse on digital infrastructure in Nigeria, but also advancing the socio-economic development of the nation.
“The assurance I can give you all today is that this year’s edition of the yearly ICTEL EXPO will leave you all with unforgettable memories and great dividends.
To ensure this, we have attracted the right caliber of experts and eminent resource persons in both the public and private sectors of the economy as participants,” he assured.
Michael Olawale Cole, President of LCCI