The organisers of the Gage Awards on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to give more attention to making fortunes out of the digital economy by moving away from over-dependence on oil as a revenue earner.
The Administrator of the awards, Mr Adedayo Adetukasi, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on the Gage Awards planned for next year.
NAN reports that the Gage Awards is the flagship online awards recognition in Nigeria. It is aimed at celebrating and rewarding individuals and brands that are pulling their weights in the industry.
The premier digital ceremony is set to identify, highlight and reward activities online that help to shape the pace of human development in Africa, especially Nigeria in information, inspiration, entertainment and business.
Adetukasi said that Nigeria, unlike other counties, is shying away from the realities of Information Technology (IT) as the new economy, adding that the country would have better revenue if it tapped into IT.
“Nigeria has yet to scratch the surface when it comes to revenue from IT. The results are evident in what is being budgeted for the ministry and what they have in return.
“Other countries of the world are moving from analogue economy to the digital, this is what Nigeria should be thinking of in the 2nd century if we truly want economic prosperity.
“Nigeria is too dependent on oil money while digital money is the solution to the dwindling fortunes of the country. Digital money is the way to go.
“I call on the government to invest in digital solutions because it is the only sector that can engage all the youth. The world economy is no more about oil money, but digital money,’’ he said.
Adetukasi said that about 70 per cent of businesses worldwide had gone digital, adding that such a massive opportunity could turn the economy around and also provide more employment.
“There is no business we want to do now without a digital application to it. At least, 70 per cent of trade now are now done digitally even to the less attractive ones.
“Before, we used to go to the parks or stand outside to get a taxi, but now, taxis can be ordered in the comfort of our rooms to pick us up.
“Also, we can take delivery of food items online not only the raw or yet-to-be-processed one but cooked foods which we can order from the online menu, this means we no longer need to go to the market.
“All these are showing us that business has gone digital and anyone that does not catch up with it might be rendered useless,’’ he said.
Adetukasi said that Nigeria was blessed with abundant talents in IT, noting that they needed a little push such as recognition and financial support to breakthrough.
“Now we have news platforms which mean we don’t need to go and sit or read Newspapers on stands this is supporting the traditional ones.
“Digital economy is truly shaping the presence and the future of the world and so many people are now using their creative minds to build Apps that are beneficial to us.
“We have found out that Nigerians are very talented in IT, so we have set a standard to capture them and put them to the limelight and also connect them to worthy investors.
“The Gage Awards is not for the fun of it, but a platform to source for the genuine talents in the IT industry, the innovators that have helped to move the industry forward,’’ he said.
NAN reports that the Gage Awards is scheduled to hold Feb. 22, 2020, at the prestigious Lagos Continental Hotel with a promise to be a night of celebration.
The awards, according to the organisers, will be given in various categories of excellence under five key areas bordering on Entertainment, Innovation, Inspiration, Information and Business for the year in review 2019.
The awards categories are Social Moment of the Year, Special Moment of the Year, Online News Platform of the Year, Online Show of the Year, Content Creator of the Year and Best Data Provider of the Year.
Others are Online Person of the Year, Artiste of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year, Content Promoter of the Year and Best Influencer Endorsement.
The celebration will be captured by the web and shared all over the world
The nominations for all the categories for the awards on the Gage portal, www.gageawards.com will be opened to the public from Oct. 28 to Nov. 30, 2019.