Welcome to the elections season! In less than 48 hours, Nigerians would make their voices heard at the polls. This election is different in many ways. For the first time in our political history, elections of this magnitude would be conducted using the Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS). The BVAS is an electronic device that reads Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and authenticates voters’ eligibility to vote at polling units with their fingerprints. The added advantage is that BVAS-mediated election results are transferred in real time over the internet. It helps to curb rigging and other election frauds. BVAS is a momentous step that underlines the digital transformation ongoing in Nigeria.
The unveiling of the National Policy on the 2nd Level Domain and the National Data Strategy highlighted the critical role that digital transformation policies and strategies have played in saving the government over N45.7 billion in IT projects and averting 66 cyber-attacks between 2019 and 2021. These positive outcomes underscore the importance of NiRA’s continued efforts towards promoting digitalization across Nigeria.
The impact of these efforts is evident in the ICT sector’s impressive contribution of 18.44% to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Q2 2022. In comparison, the Oil and Gas sector contributed only 6.33%. These statistics demonstrate the significant progress that has been made towards building a robust and thriving digital economy in Nigeria.
We are thrilled to announce that Starlink, a satellite internet service provider owned by Elon Musk, is now available in Nigeria, a testament to our collaborative and enabling digital environment. This alternative internet service provider presents new opportunities for increased access and connectivity, encouraging innovation, supporting growth, and promoting digital inclusivity nationwide.
As a feather in our cap, the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA) received the Most Valuable Partner (MVP) award for our outstanding contributions to the growth of the Nigerian IT industry from the Nigerian Association of Computer Science Students (NACOSS). We are thankful for the recognition and promise to continue to provide the IT support and tools students and youths in Nigeria need to be competitive in the global marketplace.
I am happy to share that the NiRA Secretariat recently hosted the Rwandan Internet Community and Technology Alliance (RICTA) led by CEO Grace Ingabire for its inaugural Exchange Program. This initiative, which seeks to promote business partnerships across the continent, highlights our shared commitment with Rwanda to realizing a common digital economy goal. We are thrilled about the potential of our partnership with RICTA and are excited about the opportunities it presents for learning and growth.
As we prepare to go to the polls, I urge you to demonstrate your patriotism by conducting yourself peacefully, steering clear of incendiary speeches and actions. Do your part to build a Nigeria that is conducive for all.
Finally, our dedication to transitioning Nigeria to a fully digital economy remains steadfast as we approach a new era
Thank you for your time and attention. Stay well and safe.