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Amb. (Prof.) Tijjani Muhammad-Bande REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Envoys, Bank of Industry, experts advocate more funding for Innovative Technology in Nigeria

Amb. (Prof.) Tijjani Muhammad-Bande REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
Ambassador Peter Lot Egopija, Consul General of Nigeria, New York
Ambassador Ben Okoyen
Deaconess Linda Middleton of Kaleidoscope

Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador (Prof.) Tijjani Mohammed-Bande, has said that applying innovation in Technology opens up new frontiers for development and economic growth.

Ambassador Mohammed-Bande, a former President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) spoke at the 16th Annual Kaleidoscope Global Conference and Awards, held in New York, USA.

The theme of the program was ‘Innovation and Technology: That will shape the future of Nigeria’ and Professor Mohammed-Bande was the Keynote Speaker.

Also speaking at the event, Mr. Kayode Pitan, Managing Director of the Bank of Industry (BOI) said that the bank is always ready and willing to fund Tech hubs across Nigeria.

He said that all the programmes of the bank have been achieved through investment in Technology, stressing that reports that Nigerians live below a dollar a day are untrue.

Represented by Leonard Kange, General Manager, Large Enterprises, the BOI boss said, however, that Nigeria will not grow if it fails to innovate.

According to him, the BOI has launched a Nigeria Innovation Fund which is meant to provide financial assistance to support creative innovations.

The  programmes of the Bank of Industry, he stressed, are “to simply encourage financial inclusion. We do not hesitate to provide support when we see potentials,” he said.

Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, Mr. Lot Egopija, in his presentation, said that the Nigeria will benefit from the outcome of the 16th Annual Kaleidoscope Global Conference and Awards.

While thanking the organizer, Chief (Dcns.) Linda O.E Middleton of the Kaleidoscope group for her consistency in organizing the yearly conference, Amb. Egopija said “we will begin to harvest the gains already made from this all-important conference.”

Meanwhile, Chairman/CEO Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa in her commendation of the Kaleidoscope Group said the Commission is open to recommendations on how Nigeria can take advantage of “innovative technology.”

Also speaking, Nigeria’s Ambassador to Cuba, Bahamas, Honduras and Nicaragua, Amb. Benaoyagha Okoyen, who spoke on the ‘Impact of Technology on Tourism’ said President Muhammadu Buhari should be applauded for not waiting to “play catch-up” on technology.

Amb. Okoyen said Nigeria has what it takes to compete favourably in the tourism sector.

“All we need to do is educate our people in a way that they can harness the gains in the tourism sector,” he said.

On his part, Amb. Kayode Laro, Nigeria’s Ambassador to France spoke about the “pros and cons” of technology.

Amb. Laro, who spoke from his office in France, expressed concern about the negative uses of technology.

Nigeria’s Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr. Olalekan Adegbite, in his address said the Federal Government is working towards improving investments in the country’s mining industry.

Mr. Adegbite said the government is improving investments in the mining sector by providing the required infrastructure to broaden the horizon of the sector.

According to him “The government of President Muhammadu Buhari has applied innovation in education, the transport sector and in infrastructural development.”

Amb. (Dr.) Amina Smaila, Consul General of Nigeria, Atlanta said there is need for Nigeria to make technology the fulcrum of its development.

Kaleidoscope international partners including Amb. Gurjit Singh, former Indian Ambassador to Germany, Indonesia and Ethiopia, Asian and African Union Chair said Nigeria must begin to look towards innovative technologies.

According to Amb. Singh, “Nigeria shares almost the same economy as India and what we are doing in India has gone beyond just Info Tech.”

On his part, Amb. Anil Trigunayat, India’s former Ambassador to Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Libya and Malta said like India, Nigeria is battling with poverty and rural development.

He said, “the transfer of technology has aided India’s development and I expect same to happen in Nigeria.”

Also speaking was Amb. Jacqueline Mohair, Transformational Business and Life Strategist who believes technology has a huge contribution to make to the advancement of any nation.

Another speaker, Mario Salazar expressed delight about the introduction of E-Naira by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“Nigeria has enough resources that can drive her economy. All they need to do is equip their citizens with the right technology to manage those resources,” Salazar said.

Dr. Tony Egobueze of the Rivers State University, Port Harcourt revealed data that puts Spain as the country that has attracted the highest number of tourists in the world.

“In Africa, Sychelles, Mauritius, Namibia and Botswana are the most visited countries. There is a lot Nigeria can do to fall in this category,” he said.

In her opening address Chief (Dcns) Linda O.E Middleton, Founder/CEO Kaleidoscope Business Project expressed optimism about the influence of technology on the future of Nigeria.

“I see technologies shaping our future, and we are already witnessing their impact.”

She said, “Kaleidoscope operates as one of the pillar marketers of Nigeria’s foreign direct investment.

“According to OC&C Consulting, 2018 Nigeria information and communication technologies sector has grown from less than 1% of GDP in 2001 to almost 10 percent of GDP today.

“Nigeria has also surpassed South Africa to emerge as a premier investment destination with 55 active tech hubs raising a total of US$ 94.9 million, according to Usman, Choi, & Dutz, 2019.”

The Business Conference & Awards was organized by Kaleidoscope Business Project LLC in conjunction with Consul General of Nigeria, New York.


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