“Nigeria can achieve self-reliance and national security with STI”

The Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) and top bank executives have instructed businesses to leverage technology to improve productivity and positively impact the country’s economy.
They spoke at the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC) Inaugural Conference and Exhibition on the theme: “Accelerating Productivity – Harnessing Technology” on Tuesday in Lagos.
Ms. Bisi Adeyemi, President of NBCC, underscored the imperative of technology to drive productivity, especially given the current realities propelled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said the conference, which would be biannual, offered companies the opportunity to showcase their brands and foster new partnerships.
“These companies would also develop opportunities in foreign markets, which corresponds to our cardinal objectives,” she said.
Dr Adesola Adeduntan, CEO of First Bank Group, said technology has entered the era of digitalization.
Adeduntan, represented by Mr. Ini Ebong, Executive Director, Treasury and International Banking Operations, First Bank, said new technologies fuel and provide an attractive foundation for business growth, innovation and differentiation.
He noted that increasingly, companies large and small are taking advantage of modern technology to become agile and grow more efficiently.
The CEO said that technology fuels business development in various ways, leading to increased growth and profitability.
Adeduntan predicted that the rise of cutting-edge technologies promised to further impact and transform business dynamics.
“Organizations are leveraging technology to future-proof their business by investing in talent, embracing e-commerce, and using analytics to learn insights.
“Businesses that will remain sustainable must have a digital and online presence by building e-commerce stores that can complement physical outlets.
“Companies will also need to leverage digital ecosystem partnerships to stay competitive,” he said.
Mr. Lamin Manjang, Managing Director of Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, said that the opportunities presented by the adoption of digitalization in the financial sector are enormous.
Manjang was represented by the Head of Digital Banking and Financial Inclusion, Mr. Adeyinka Shorungbe.
He said that as a result of embracing digitalization, the total retail account base grew by 200% in two years and his retail revenue base grew by 300%.
“Technology now allows us to acquire customers in every state, with an average of 9,000 new accounts opened each month.
“Furthermore, the bank’s digital penetration is 87%, with increased efficiency, speed and quality, but at a lower cost,” he said.
Mr. Olukayode Pitan, Managing Director of the Bank of Industry (BoI), said the bank will continue to play its part in accelerating productivity through its various financing and advisory facilities.
Pitan, represented by Mr. Simon Aranonu, Executive Director, Large Business, Bank of Industry, said Nigeria, like many countries around the world, was not immune to the economic headwinds presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
This, he said, made it essential for all non-oil sectors, especially manufacturing, to boost productivity, create job opportunities and enable Nigeria to be more self-sufficient (less dependent on imports ).
He described the manufacturing sector as the gateway to industrialization through strong backward and forward linkages with other sectors, offering a wealth of opportunities for suppliers, distributors and retailers.
He pointed out that with the introduction of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), Nigeria must develop its manufacturing sector to become the manufacturing hub of West Africa and the rest of the world. Africa.
Pitan revealed that the BoI has managed to raise around $3.8 billion in the international market over the past four years, with some of the meetings and roadshows being held virtually, leveraging technology.
“BOI supports projects with potential development impact and the ability to generate significant multiplier effects such as job creation, import substitution and poverty reduction.
“All of this would have significant positive effects on the socio-economic condition of Nigerians, especially in light of the recent challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“BoI also sponsors corporate social responsibility activities that provide technology solutions to businesses such as the all-state innovation center in Nigeria,” he said.

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