Prof. Adenike Osofisan of the University of Ibadan has called on the Federal Government to leverage on the opportunities presented by Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector to diversify the economy.
Osofisan made this call during a paper presentation at the ongoing 9th Annual Forum of Laureates of the Nigerian National Order of Merit (NNOM) in Abuja on Wednesday.
The professor, who is also the Director, the University of Ibadan Business School, said that if well harnessed, ICT would provide new ways through which the economy could be diversified.
According to her, the emergence of ICT has created tremendous impact in the development of any nation, which Nigeria can also take advantage of.
She said that the ICT sector in Nigeria had continued to boost efforts in job creation on an average of about 12 million jobs from 2012 to date.
Osofisan said that in recent times, ICT had given rise to the direct job creation by increasing and improved business process innovation.
She said that ICT had also provided the emergence of new services and industries while contributing to the growth of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“In recent times, ICT has provided immense contribution to the development of the country through its role in the area of job creation.
“Prominent new jobs that have been created including website development, mobile application development and email marketing specialists, among others.
“Companies now use mobile application to increase their incomes and create more opportunity for self employment as it is now lucrative business for the youths.
“What this means is that people can be self reliant and more money can be generated while increasing the country’s GDP,’’ she said.
She said that the National Information Technology Development Agency had been committed to ensuring that ICT contributed to at least 15 per cent increase within three years.
In the area of agriculture, she said that ICT had provided tools for empowering farmers to take informed and quality decisions which had positive impact on the way agricultural activities were conducted.
She noted that the application of ICT in the Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Health Care and Education sectors had impacted greatly on social, human and economic development of the country.
Osofisan , however, called on the government to create an enabling framework that would support the initiatives and projects to drive the diversification in ICT.
“ICT economic diversification strategies will succeed if and only if the right kind of enabling framework is put in place.’’