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Published On: Thu, Jun 26th, 2014

NIGF 2014: Okere wants MSMEs to adopt .NG

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From Ayodele Samuel, Lagos

Chairman of the 2014 Nigeria Internet Governance Forum (NIGF) and founder and Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Computer Warehouse Group (CWG) plc, Mr Austin Okere has highlighted the potential of digital explosion in Nigeria, saying that a framework for the Internet

governance is urgently needed which must be targeted at Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). Speaking on the theme Harnessing Multi-Stakeholders’ Framework for Internet Governance & Economic Growth, Okere reiterated belief in inclusive growth, and canvassed that NIGF focuses her target on the adoption of .ng by ensuring enrollment of this national resource by stakeholders within the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sub-sector of the economy, which number he put in excess of 17.7m in Nigeria, and who are likely to see more benefit with the adoption.

Okere also noted that the modern wave of Internet has taken Africa by storm and Nigeria is no exception. Hence, he pointed out that recent World Bank study showed that 32.9 per cent of Nigerians depend on technologies of this age like high speed Internet data, broadband and

Long Term Evolution (LTE)-Broadband among others. Nigeria, he said, ranked 8th out of a total of 212 member countries of United Nations in terms of number of Internet users and only

occupies 128th spots in terms of Internet penetration. He quoted the World Economic Forum recently held in Nigeria as indicating that out of every 100 urban Nigerians, 50 accesses the internet monthly, 58 have internet capable mobile phones and 21 have smart phones. On the other hand, he said, CWG plc leveraged on the abundance of broadband capacity to launch an ambitious programme of empowering MSME’s which she tags CWG 2.0; to work with banks and government

agencies such as SMEDAN and the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment to provide affordable technology to help MSME’s to build capacity and attract credit to grow their businesses.

The objective, Okere said, will enable the 17.7 MSME’s build sufficient capacity to employ an additional staff each. This will create an additional 17.7m jobs, fuelling inclusive growth.

He, therefore, urged NIGF led by the Local Multistakeholder Advisory Group (LMAG) and the Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NIRA), the managers of .NG country code domain name to tap into this MSME in effort to populate .NG brand.


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