President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked leaders of business organizations to use technology to make positive contributions to their organizations and the nation.
The President delivered the keynote address “Corporate Governance and Digital Transformation: Leading Purposely for Growth and Sustainability” at the Institute of Directors’ (IoD) Annual Director’s Conference (ADC) 2022 in Lagos on Thursday.
Buhari, represented by Federation Attorney General Abubakar Malami (SAN), said his government is committed to providing the necessary legal support and framework to help embed good corporate governance practices in various sectors of the economy.
He pledged to support the IoD by giving the institute’s draft law the attention it needs to enable it to fulfill its mandate. He also called for collaboration between the public and private sectors.
“The private sector has been identified as the engine of the economy and the public sector as the provider of the enabling environment; therefore it is appropriate that both sectors work together in the interest of the country.
“While I am committed to improving business operations in Nigeria, all hands must be on deck to help the country overcome its economic challenges,” he said.
In her keynote address, United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed said the world is currently being gripped by a series of global crises impacting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Calling for new policies that would accelerate and incentivize connectivity in the country, she stressed that technology and digitization would herald the age of digital transformation in health, education, agriculture and finance.
“The digital revolution is one of the most powerful tools for education and it can be harnessed properly by strengthening infrastructure, closing access gaps and creating new and innovative public-private partnerships such as between Jumia and the UN that aim to empower every school with technology to connect 2030.
“Digital data; the lifeblood of planning could become the world’s best-selling commodity because of its potential to increase yields, reduce transaction costs and strengthen traceability in agriculture and other sectors, among others.
“However, data can be misused with devastating consequences and we must strive for digital policies to prevent this. To address this, we at the United Nations are proposing a digital compact to be signed in 2024, and countries around the world can leverage that agreement.
“I charge all Nigerians with building a nation instead of constantly talking about the country,” she said.
Onitsha Obi Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, chairman of the opening ceremony, said the role of digital technology in corporate governance is unquestionable.
He called on the government and business organizations to provide adequate funding for education so that Nigeria could take its rightful place.
Industry, Trade and Investment Minister Otunba Niyi Adebayo said the extent to which a company embraces technology depends largely on the disposition of its director, who is in charge of strategic leadership.
Adebayo, represented by Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Mr. Garba Abubakar, said that the provisions of the Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) of 2020 made way for many technological inputs such as e-meetings and e-filing, e-submitting and others.
Host country governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by Commissioner for Facilities, Education and Pensions Ms Ajibola Ponnle, said the state is using technology to advance its agenda and policies.
The President and Chair of the Governing Council, Institute of Directors Nigeria, Dr. Ije Jidenma said that business leaders must have vision for a technology-driven future and be prepared to lead complex and innovative transformations with purpose.
The event also witnessed panel discussions with key stakeholders and directors.
The program, which continues today, will be rounded off with the Special Business Meets Government Dinner.
Anambra State Governor Professor Charles Soludo was the guest speaker at the Special Business Meets Government Dinner – an exclusive high-profile event that will attract a cross-section of notable business leaders and captains of industry from the highest caliber, from the private sector to technocrats and public sector politicians.