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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Internet: Boost to new economy

By Remmy Nweke

THE new Internet-driven global economy is undoubted quite critical and basic to the 21st century economic and industrial revolution.

Professor Manny Aniebonam, the President of the United States (US)-based Nigerian Information Technology Professional in the Americas (NITPA), has said while delivering a paper at the just concluded computer, Telecoms and Office Equipment (CTO-06) in Lagos.

He said that in accordance with the global framework for the new economy, information networking is critical for economic growth and knowledge-based production.

Growth for value for stocks, he pointed out, “now substitutes for profit as the determinant of the new economy.”

He said that Nigeria is yet to tap from over six million of her citizens in diaspora.

NITPA President noted that for the nation to benefit from the new global economic trend, there is need to invest and tap the ‘non-oil strategy.”

Out of the estimated six million Nigerian experts, he said that latest statistics on Nigerians in diaspora showed that NITPA records over 250,000 in the core ICT sector, 197,000 practicing physicians and over 25,000 Nigerian-born professors and lecturers are based in the US alone.

According to him, the brain drain factor, greatly contributed to this number, which saw to the over six million of the nation’s best human resources residing in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

In a paper entitled “The Diaspora Role in Nation Building,” Prof. Aniebonam who also presides over AfriHub LLC as chief executive, noted that there is a new economy catching global attention while unleashing productivity and creating prosperity, “but in a very uneven pattern.”

Current parameters, Prof. Aniebonam said, go beyond possession of natural resources such as oil, gas and copper.

“All these without technological knowledge are baseless and in some cases more of a curse than a blessing,” he asserted.

Aniebonam noted that ICT if properly used could revolutionize the economy of the country by way of spurring models of informatics, capable of facilitating the nation’s leapfrogging efforts. He called for an intervention strategy based on harnessing the technological skills of Nigerians in Diaspora.

“This must be embraced by all,” he declared.

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