ICT Clinic (Punch Newspaper)

COVID-19 advancing adoption of technology [ICT Clinic]

The COVID-19 pandemic is still raging and its reality has eventually dawned on us here in Nigeria, making nonsense of the earlier assumption that it cannot survive in our clime and that black people are immune from its effects.

Thousands of Nigerians have since been infected with the virus and we hear of new reported cases everyday, with fatalities too. This has served as an impetus for many Nigerians, who hitherto were treating the virus with kid gloves, to have a rethink and start taking precautionary measures in order to escape contracting the virus.

I am not a medical personnel, so I will leave the COVID-19 issue to professionals to keep enlightening us on what to do and how best to protect ourselves. However, I will just like to counsel that COVID-19 is real and we should all take the necessary precautions as prescribed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control as scientists continue the search for a cure or a vaccine. I pray they achieve this very soon, so that people across the world can get their lives going once again.

That said, let me go straight to today’s piece. Staying positive that we will overcome COVID-19 pretty soon.

Now, as someone who has spoken and written repeatedly about the need to take technology serious in Nigeria, I will like to once again state that COVID-19 has simply advanced the adoption technological solutions in unbelievable ways. Unfortunately for us, we are somewhat on the losing end and that is because most of the widely used tech solutions today are foreign owned, so at the end of the day, we will continue to put pressure on our already weakened naira because these solutions are paid for in foreign currencies.

For instance, due to COVID-19, some state meetings are now held via video-calling platforms and these include sensitive and classified meetings. One wonders, if we have thought through the security implications of such actions?

Do we realise that data from meetings and calls get stored on various servers across the world? No forward-looking nation would allow a lot of what is going on today but since we were not prepared, we have no choice but to adopt what is available and move on.

That being said, I am personally delighted that we are at least making progress with the adoption of technology across healthcare, education, law, relationship, logistics and commerce. Nigerians have to step up their game big time as our world has been changed forever by this pandemic. I only wish we had a national strategy around technology development and adoption before now as that would have made us better prepared.

Imagine, the difference a platform such as Remita has made by way of the Treasury Single Account, which ensured that all government accounts are collapsed into one and designated officials can see the nation’s bank balances at any point in time. This is a departure from when the country had over — Finish Reading on the Punch

About the author

Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr

CFA hosts Tech Trends on Channels Television, writes the ICT Column in the Punch Newspapers & also blogs on cfagbata.com.

CFA currently serves as the African Regional Director of Founder Institute.

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