Information is the essence of our lives; it brings vitality to governance and commerce. The 21st century economy is premised on it. Information has been with us for over five thousand years, the first period was the invention of writing in Mesopotamia; the second was brought by invention of writing books, which was first in China, and later in Greece. The third was Gutenberg’s invention of printing press between 1450-1455, the fourth period of information is the internet era which has brought great wealth and success to nations that made it the cornerstone of their economies.
According to Statistica.com among the largest companies in the world by market value for 2018, the largest ten companies were dominated by tech giants, Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft and Facebook.
It is obvious that information is the new wealth of the 21st century; Forbes rating of Billionaires for 2018 had five among ten on the list from IT, information technology industry. Africa is lacking behind in the area of Information Technology, little investments had been given to the sector that had created great wealth for the richest countries on the earth.
Nigeria’s GDP for 2018, oil and gas contributed 8%, service sector which was driven by information contributed 53.9%, and agriculture contributed 22.86%, manufacturing and industries contributed 23.18%. It is true that the dominance of oil and gas is fickle, that the real wealth had been generated by service sector and other industries in the economy. The government needs to give more attention to investing in information infrastructure, because it’s the easiest way to quickly reduce unemployment to the barest minimum.
The budget speaks volume about the mindset of our political class. In the 2019 budget of N8.8 trillion, the volume of expenditure was given to recurrent and debt servicing. Real investment has to go into provision of bandwidth for rural and urban Nigeria, data storage technology like cloud, and satellite communication. The discovery of oil in 1956 has done more harm than good to Nigeria’s economy. The information technology industries had been private sector driven from inception, the government has to get involved to unlock the potentials of the youths through information technology.
The youths of this country had evolved in information technology business, Monapay, Thriveagric, and Dropquee.t.c. The support given to tech entrepreneurs in Nigeria is not enough. Facebook, a US tech giant in the world was founded 10 years ago by Mark Zuckerberg with market value of $420b. The most successful businessman in Nigeria Aliko Dangote, founded Dangote Company in 1981 with market value of $50b. The present and future of world economy is information, 2018 Apple market value rose to $1 trillion, that’s twice Nigeria’s GDP for the same year.
Over N2 trillion was allocated for recurrent expenditure in the budget of 2019, three ministries consumed 45% of the recurrent spending, ministry of interior, defense and education. Sixty percent of the 2019 budget went to recurrent and debt servicing. This is the road we’ve chosen, to neglect the soul of a nation which are the youths. Our common destiny are tied to our identity, we need to have a real sense of purpose. Nigerian youths are the most resilient in the world.
The government should make information technology the centerpiece of capital expenditure, it is where the economy could accelerate and be among the best economies in the world. What we need is courage and political will. The resources are in abundance, that is, Nigerian youths. We have never been blessed with youthful populations that are strong, dogged, and patriotic. We the people of this great country should believe in the success of the country. God bless Nigeria. “The labor of our heroes’ past shall never be in vain.”
Motivational speaker/ Entrepreneur
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