Despite Nigeria’s nominal growth in infrastructure and human capital development in recent years, sadly, the majority of the more than 200 million people living in rural areas still live in abject poverty and infrastructure deficits.
To see that this growth will translate into a better standard of living for the vast majority of the population, economists recommend going down to the grassroots through awareness and physical infrastructure.
While there are challenges in achieving this goal, experts believe that with the application of the right development tools, much can be achieved.
Modern development tools include the application of digital technologies and a better understanding of data science.
These have helped many countries not only make progress on all human development indicators, but also extend development to the grassroots.
This is imperative because fundamental economic policies can be better addressed and implemented with the support of data analytics, which makes it easy to set goals and targets within a reasonable time frame.
Although desirable, Nigeria has historically underused the use of digital technologies and data science for planning and development purposes.
While global technological advances have had a big impact on Nigeria, with more than 108 million people (more than 50% of the country’s population) having access to the Internet and other high-tech amenities, the population’s ability to take advantage of the growth has declined minimally.
The most technologically advanced countries in the world, such as the United States, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, have successfully expanded their reach by educating and training their populations in digital technologies and data science.
In Africa, countries like Mauritius, South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, and Nigeria rank among the top ten for technology development on the continent, but awareness is not as deep because of a lack of awareness.
This deprives citizens of the benefits of this growth, leading to consequences such as backwardness and lack of development in rural areas, with women and children most affected.
According to former US President Calvin Coolidge, all growth depends on activity; however, unless awareness is created to promote such activity, the necessary actions cannot be taken.
But this can be fixed with a conscious effort to educate and inspire the populace.
Digital technologist Uduak Emmanuel Abraham recently recounted how she took risks in training and mass enlightenment in digital tech and data science to make it happen.
Through her work with the non-profit and non-political organization Grand Digital, Data and Technology Foundation, people came to understand that expanding the range of knowledge in digital technologies by providing data for processing such Rural areas lead to development to benefit the disadvantaged and large segments of the population.
Digital technologies are devices that use and store data for communication, information and other social services.
Applying this knowledge through mobile phones, computers and other devices makes it easier for people to network and communicate, raising awareness and making goods, medical and social services more accessible.
This requires a broader recognition of the need to educate and train more people to use digital technologies, and to get more groups and organizations to take the initiative.
Through observation, it has been learned that while many communities in Nigeria have not been exposed to such knowledge and ideas to date, the efforts of some of these organizations already cover the scope of work required.
Experts such as Uduak Abraham believe that as governments look for ways to bring development to the grassroots, providing technological resources to access digital technologies with the necessary data, especially for women, youth and children, will go a long way towards achieving this. Target.
Among other derivable benefits, she explained, are raising educational levels among the masses; creating much-needed awareness and promoting entrepreneurship.
Overall, this is also bound to expand linkages with other communities and individuals for socioeconomic benefits, leading to healthy communities, improved healthcare education and human resource capacity in rural Nigeria.
Hence, such initiatives must be promoted and encouraged as they are bound to have a positive impact on the populace.
Agbese contributed this article from Abuja.