A digital transformation in Nigeria is the big exit, the ajar door, from the mass youth unemployment.
It is directly related to an Information and Communications Technology ICT) revolution and penetration, providing a mass employment of labor, enabling potential and opportunities in the process. Even though I speak of the public sector, I also want to allude to how it can influence the private sector.
A practical example of how this is possible is the everyday reality of many young Nigerians. Take, for instance, the outlier Yvonne Anoruo. Yvonne’s primary tool for her business is the Internet. She’s neither an engineer nor trained in any of the sciences. In fact, she turned her mathematics answer booklet blank in an examination. She’s an English graduate of the University of Lagos. She hasn't attended a business school, but she’s at the head of a team employing ICT, marketing skills and a combination of authoritative and affiliative leadership styles to deliver on market objectives. She’s self-evolved, defining a possibility for many a young Nigerian.
Anybody, like her, not trained in STEM (Science, Engineering, Technology, and Mathematics) would have been an outlier but as she is demonstrating, the Internet, framed in digitalization, is not only an enabler – it’s also a leveler. There are no outliers - just a cosmos of opportunities for an English graduate as well as for an ICT folk hero.
"The Internet, framed in digitalization, is not only an enabler – it’s also a leveler."Jacobs Edo, Digital Transformation Manager, Speaker & Author
Yvonne belongs to a new generation of Nigerians who, unsupported by the government and the systems, are creating value by transformative entrepreneurship and smart initiatives.
Like other Nigerians, the challenge is that of relating to a non-digitized public service that uses slow Internet connectivity.
Opportunities are missed in a poorly digitized society. Productivity drops for everything and everybody associated with the Internet in Nigeria. That’s macroeconomic. Output drops. GDP falls. Jobs are lost.
If national development for a country as Nigeria is about lifting populations out of poverty, a digital transformation stands as a ranking platform to deliver on this goal. Government’s business is simply to create an exit so that the economically condemned can work their way out.
How does a government create an exit?
A practical, simple way is heading into public service digitalization.
This direction would be one movement that signifies progress, one drive that measures its weight in gold and one policy that would re-enforce its sustainability and orchestrate a domino or influence across other economic sectors and service delivery.