Abia’ll  leverage digital technology to grow economy- Gov Otti

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Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex Otti,  says his administration is passionate about taking advantage of the opportunities provided by digital technology in managing the state’s economy.

Governor Otti stated this on Monday while addressing participants of Study Group 7, Senior Executive Course 46 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru Jos, who are on study tour and fact-finding mission to Abia state.

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The Governor, who commended the participants for the choice of Abia for the tour, described the study theme: ‘Digital Economy,Youth Empowerment and Sustainable Job Creation in Nigeria: Issues, Challenges and Opportunities’, as key, noting that any organisation that fails to key into the digital space will be left behind.

“In a few days, we will be one year in office, so the things we have in stock, we’re just unfolding them. Somehow, I feel we’re at the dress rehearsal stages.  We’re still at building stage in terms of digital economy, I can assure you that by the time you come back to the State in about one or two years, you will see that all the work we’re doing behind the scene would have been rolled out and our people will begin to leverage on digital technology to push the economy,” he said.

According to the Governor, the State Government is making concerted effort to make its workforce adjust to the trends in the digital age.

“We are preparing our workforce to embrace digital economy. I can tell you that our workforce is geared towards digital economy and all the opportunities that it presents,” the Governor told his visitors.

Governor Otti said that the Government was working to establish an innovation hub, digital hub, and the Abia Innovation and Industrial Park, saying that Abia has keyed into the 3 Million Technical Talent (3TTM) agenda of the Federal Government.

He noted that the world now dwells more on artificial intelligence, robotics, electric vehicles, driverless cars among other technologies, adding that the study theme aligns with his initiatives as he had upon assumption of office created the Ministry of Digital Economy and SMEs.

“There are a lot of businesses that I look at today and in my own little understanding, I can see that these businesses are threatened. We are now in the world of artificial intelligence, the world of robotics, electric vehicles, driverless cars, and those technologies generally. You will just find out that those old ways of doing things will soon give way.

“I believe that this study tour will expose you to a whole lot of new things and I want to thank you once again for the choice of Abia. Relax and enjoy the hospitality of this state. We take the issue of security serious here, entertain no fear. We do not tolerate crime and criminality and we have also demonstrated that if you commit any crime here, we will get you within 36 hours using a combination of sophisticated technology and intelligence,” Governor Otti stated.

In his remarks earlier, the team lead, Brigadier General L. A. Jimoh, said the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) was established by the administration of General Olusegun Obasanjo in 1979, as a high-level institution and foremost think tank to provide and proffer solutions to burning issues for the overall well-being and progress of the country.

He noted that the Institute had the mandate to develop a crop of top-class leaders of intellectual capacity, annually, to attend to the challenges across all strata of development.

“Every year, Mr. President tasks NIPSS to conduct research on a topical issue and submit Report to Government later in the year in a forum called, ‘The Presidential Parley’. This year’s theme for the SEC 46, 2024 is: ‘Digital Economy, Youth Empowerment and sustainable Job Creation in Nigeria: Issues, Challenges and Opportunities.

“Abia State is considered critical to our theme this year and also because of its contributions to the economic agenda of the country. Your State is known for its rich arts and culture, vast human resources, technology, industry and unmatched records for talents in almost all areas of life. All these have direct relationship with digital economy, youth  empowerment and sustainable job creation which is our theme”.Brig. General Jimoh explained.

He described Abia as crucial to the realisation of the objective of the group which is a good Presidential Parley Report as Abia is involved in massive investment in human capital development, investment in electricity, a critical requirement for a digital economy, massive infrastructural development as well as the health sector.

The visit provided the participants the opportunity to interact with Governor Otti and asked him questions on various issues pertaining to his experience in office in the last 11 months.

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