President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked leaders of corporate organisations to harness technology to make positive contributions to their organisations and the nation.
The president gave the charge on Thursday in Lagos at the Institute of Directors (IoD) 2022 Annual Director’s Conference (ADC) with the theme, “Corporate governance and digital transformation: Leading purposefully for growth and sustainability.”
Buhari, who was represented by the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), said his administration was committed to providing the necessary legal support and framework to support the entrenchment of good corporate governance practices across various sectors of the economy.
He pledged his commitment to supporting the IoD by giving the institute’s chartered bill the necessary consideration to enable it to achieve its mandate. He also called for collaboration between the public and private sectors.
“The private sector has been identified as the driver of the economy and the public sector as the provider of the enabling environment for that; it is therefore pertinent for both sectors to collaborate in the interest of the country.
“While I am committed to bettering the ease of doing business in Nigeria, all hands must be on deck for the country to come out of its economic challenges,” he said.
In her keynote address, the United Nations Deputy Secretary General, Ms Amina Mohammed, said the world was currently hit by a series of global crises, which affected the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
She called for new policies that would accelerate and incentivise connectivity in the country, stressing that technology and digitalisation would set the era of digital transformation in areas of health, education, agriculture and finance.
“Digital revolution is one of the most powerful tools for education and can be properly harnessed by strengthening infrastructure, filling access gaps, and forging new and innovative public-private partnerships such as between Jumia and UN, which aims to connect every school to technology by 2030.
“Digital data; the lifeblood of planning could become the world’s bestselling commodity as it can boost yields, lower transaction costs, strengthen traceability among others in agriculture and other sectors.
“However, data can be misused to devastating effects and we must strive for digital policies that prevent such. At the UN, to address this, we are proposing a digital compact to be signed in 2024 and countries around the world can leverage this agreement.
“I task all Nigerians on nation building as opposed to constantly speaking down the country,” she said.
The Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, who was the chairman of the opening ceremony, said the role of digital technology in corporate governance was beyond debate.
He called on the government and corporate organisations to fund education adequately in order for Nigeria to take her rightful place.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, said the extent to which a company embraced technology depended largely on the disposition of its director in charge of strategic leadership.
Adebayo who was represented by Registrar General, Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Mr Garba Abubakar, said that the provisions of the Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 2020 made room for many technological inputs such as e-meetings, e-filing, e-submitting and others.
The host governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Mrs Ajibola Ponnle, said the state was using technologies to drive its agenda and policies.
The President and Chairman of Governing Council, Institute of Directors Nigeria, Dr Ije Jidenma, said corporate leaders must possess visions for a technology-driven future and be prepared to purposefully lead complex and innovative transformations.
The event also witnessed panel discussions with key stakeholders and directors.
The programme, which will continue today will be rounded off with the Special Business Meets Government Dinner.
Anambra State governor, Professor Charles Soludo, would be 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 in the private sector with top-level public-sector technocrats and policymakers.