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Digital Economy In Nigeria Driven By Innovative Platforms – John Obaro

First Bank Nigeria

As digital technologies revolutionise the globe, emerging economies like Nigeria are set to witness further disruptions occasioned by more innovative digital platforms transforming various aspects of life by leveraging data.

John Obaro, the Managing Director of SystemSpecs, a leading African financial and human capital technology solutions company, said this as he shared insights on “Platforms as a Driver for the Digital Economy,” at the recently concluded 2020 edition of the annual Digital PayExpo which was held virtually.

For about three decades, SystemSpecs, the owner of the Remita, Paylink and HumanManager brands, has been at the forefront of the emergence of digital economy in Nigeria.

According to Obaro, who was represented by Deremi Atanda, an Executive Director of the firm, the digital economy involves all economic processes, transactions and activities that are based on digital technologies.

“This modern trend is a result of billions of everyday online connections among people, businesses, devices, data and processes. It is underpinned by the spread of Information and Communication Technologies across the business sector to enhance productivity and efficiency,” Obaro said.

While analysing the evolution of the digital economy over the past three decades, the technology expert noted that data has grown exponentially but the world is still in the early days of the data-driven economy.

Availability of platforms have made it easy for interactions that drive technological innovation to occur, leading to more disruptions and rapid growth of enterprise across various sectors of the economy. Some of the key drivers for the advent and impact of platforms include innovation, expanding market, disruptive technology, and the rapid growth of aggregated data.

Furthermore, he listed some examples of indigenous innovative digital platforms, including IrokoTV, which gives access to online streaming of Nollywood movies; OkadaBooks, which has made books accessible to millions in sub-Saharan Africa through mobile technology; and Remita, a payment facilitator that processes over $6 billion worth of transactions monthly for integrators, businesses, governments, SMEs and individuals in Africa.

Obaro believes the digital economy will lead to more disruptions in emerging economies like Nigeria, as more innovative digital platforms are developed in healthcare, fashion, financial services and other industries.

Other speakers at the conference include the Minister of Communication and the Digital Economy, Dr. Ali Ibrahim Isa Pantami; Advisory Partner and Chief Economist at PwC, Dr. Andrew Nevin; Founder and General Partner of Future Africa (Nigeria) Iyin Aboyeji, among others.

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