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Obiano, Soludo rate digital human dev. above physical infrastructure

…As Zinox boss sees Anambra leading in digital governance

Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, has given reasons why his has state is leading in digital governance alongside physical infrastructure upgrade in the state.

Speaking at the recent State-sponsored the 2019 Anambra Business and Investment Roundtable, with the theme; ‘Beyond Infrastructure: Rethinking the Future’, held at Amawbia, Awka the state capital, Governor Obiano recalled how his administration recently upgraded security infrastructure with the latest digital surveillance and crime detection technology.

He said his government has also taken serial technological steps in the upgrade of other sectors of the state development and pledged to do more.

Also speaking, former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Prof Chukwuma Soludo, who spoke on the emerging growth trajectory of Anambra State, observed that the current administration in the state has put in place a reliable growth and development trajectory capable of taking the state to a sustainable growth range in the next couple of decades if followed religiously.

In his lead presentation, Chairman, Zinox Group, Leo Stan Ekeh described Anambra as a state with global capacity to influence and positively alter Nigeria’s development narratives and affirmed that the state has all it takes to sustain the standard relying on relevant technologies.

While noting that the wealth, energy and knowledge per square meter in Anambra does not exist in any other part of Africa, he urged the state government to open its eyes to the immense opportunities lying within the state with which it can re-configure the narrative for good.

Ekeh, who spoke on the topic: Doing Business in the 21st Century, called for action amongst state actors to adopt technology-driven development options going forward.

He called on Governor Obiano to deepen investments in the next generation, especially the children of the poor because these are the ones with a mindset of disruption.

He averred that “There is analogue knowledge and there is digital knowledge. Our generation relied on 80 per cent common sense and 20 per cent knowledge. But our children have global exposure and the benefit of better education, so they mainly use 80 per cent knowledge and 20 per cent common sense.’

Continuing, Ekeh noted that: ‘The Anambra state government must launch a Knowledge or Digital city in Awka with smart facilities and certified knowledge workers to re-train teachers across platforms and equip them to prepare our children for the digital age. In addition, the government should consider setting up and attaching a finishing school to the knowledge capital “There is a fundamental problem with the quality of graduates we are currently churning out. Many of them are not fit for the 21st Century work-place. You must invest in these kids to make them relevant in the global marketplace and the multiplier effect will transform the fortunes of Anambra state for good.

“You must build and equip many young graduates with skills in emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Machine Learning, Cloud Computing and Big Data, among others.

“I embarked on a similar intervention in Imo State after encountering the child of a widow who aced WAEC with straight A’s but regularly fell short in JAMB. It turned out that many of these students had never seen a computer in their lives but had to use a computer in sitting for the JAMB examinations.

“So, I spoke with the Commissioner of Technology in Imo State and set up a digital training centre where over 5,400 students are currently being exposed to computer appreciation and other digital skills. I am also paying these students to attend the classes. A week to the exam, there will also be a refresher session to ensure they are brought up to speed ahead of the examination.’

According to Ekeh, the second quarter of the 21st Century will delete many of the known names in business if they fail to rise up to the evolving era of change.

‘Our children will achieve within a few years what many of us struggled to build in 30 years. That is the age we are in. It is an era of miracle wealth. An age in which you do not need a Godfather to succeed. An E-commerce business like Konga, for instance, which is managed by my son and his colleagues has over 187,000 merchants trading on its platform. It can reach customers nationwide and deliver to them without stress. Even on Sundays when some of you are in church, business is on-going on the platform,’ he enthused.

Business Hilights South East Bureau chief reports that other dignitaries in attendance at the summit included the Deputy Governor, Nkem Okeke; Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly, Uche Okafor; the Obi of Onitsha, Nnayelugo Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe; former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Chukwuma Soludo and other members of the Anambra state political set-up. Also in attendance were corporate egg-heads and entrepreneurs drawn from various spheres of the economy.