Aha! The talk of a ‘Digital economy’ – a phrase only a few have come to understand. Chief Executive Officer, Terragon Group, Elo Umeh spoke with CNBC Africa’s Godfrey Mutizwa on ‘Unlocking Nigeria’s Digital economy’ where he expatiated on the topic. Umeh described the interconnection between devices as the make-up of a digital economy of a country. He explained that the presence of a digital economy in Nigeria is not so recognizable because a high percentage of the country’s citizens are not educated about it, while also confirming the presence of a growing digital economy in Nigeria. He attributed the growth largely to the continuous innovation in the telecommunications industry.
“With over a 100 million connections in the country, a high percentage of which are mobile connections, there is a high probability that in the next two years, the pure voice-based connections will evolve into full-fledged connections to the internet which will unlock a lot of data that will, in turn, increase the digital economy,” he said.
He stated that the network coverage in the country is constantly improving and this has aided the increase of a large number of active subscribers who access the internet on their mobile devices; a large number of which are from the big cities due to the population. Continuous improvement by the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like a drop in data price and improvement of data quality, will lead to an increase in subscribers accessing the internet from their mobile devices.
He acknowledged the critical role of the regulatory Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and the nurturing part they play in the constant improvements within the industry.
In his opinion, a combination of services that people have an interest in like e-commerce, games, lottery, among others, will help drive the growth of the digital economy in Nigeria. In conclusion, he spoke about how Terragon Group had to educate publishers at the inception of its business and how the private and public sector have to work hand in hand to educate the larger public on the benefits of digital media.