IT 4th Industrial Revolution: ICT expert says Nigeria is emerging

An Information Communication Technology (ICT) expert, Mr Jide Awe, says Nigeria is emerging on the adoption of the Fourth Industrial Revolution of the Information Technology.

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Awe, Chairman, Conference Committee, Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), said this on Tuesday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja while reacting to the readiness of the country to adopt global trends of technology.

A technological revolution is a period in which one or more technologies are replaced by another in a short period, with a view to increase productivity and efficiency.

Global technology revolution had experienced the first, second and third revolutions dated from the 18th to the 20th century, while the 4th Industrial Revolution refers to emerging, disruptive technologies.

The 4th Industrial Revolution of IT includes artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, 3-D printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, materials science, energy storage, and quantum computing.

According to Awe, Nigeria has not adopted this modern technology because we still have issues of exclusion and inclusion in technology.

“Nigeria is emerging in the use of the 4th industrial revolution of IT. It is not something that we regard as a determinant for growth yet.

“We are not yet leveraging on it as much as we should but it is being introduced gradually. Banks and some ICT start-up companies have started using Fintech.

“As for how wide spread, we still have issues of exclusion and inclusion technology, there are still a lot of areas not yet benefiting from technology, they are not exposed because of inaccessibility and affordability,” Awe said.

The expert also said that totally adopting the modern industrial IT revolution was dependent on implementation of IT policies and making it accessible in even remote areas of the country.

Awe emphasised that the inclusiveness of modern technology would ensure massive job creation, which engendered economic growth.

He advised the government to give incentives to service providers for accessing remote states, areas, reduce excessive charges in their operation and drive the political will for collaboration.

“This form of technology should be affordable and accessible. It is not something one agency should do, agencies of government and industry players should be involved, while the government should reduce the excessive charges on operations.

“Stakeholders need to understand the gaps in having digital infrastructure and the importance, they need to synergise and agree on policies.

“We have policies in place but we need to see that those policies meet the digital needs.

“The broadband plan is meant to include some incentives for providers to go to remote areas. The providers are a private sector; they want to remain where there is market but they need to go to low market areas.

“The government is meant to provide some incentives,” Awe said.

He, however, cautioned remote communities not to pose challenges toward the achievement of inclusive technology growth.

According to him, when network providers eventually go to remote areas, some of them pose as hindrances, that when you want to provide infrastructure, they turn the providers to cash bags.

Awe added that some of the communities lacked the vision and knowledge of how technology could transform their lives.

He said that for the 4th industrial revolution to be fully adopted, the government needed to champion the course of creating the awareness to every parts of the country.

(By Ijeoma Olorunfemi – NAN)

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