Softcom, an indigenous technology company and technical partners to the Federal Government of Nigeria on the N-Power project, hosted a conference with the theme: Combating Poverty: Role of Technology in driving social change in Africa.
The conference, which held at Softcom’s headquarters in Lagos, sought to advance technological solutions to Nigeria and Africa’s socio-economic development challenges in light of upcoming conversations at WEF on shaping inclusive growth and creating high-quality employment opportunities.
Speaking at the conference, Yomi Adedeji, CEO, Softcom said the 12-year-old company is focused on addressing fundamental development issues tied to Identity, Payment, Data & Learning.
He said these four pillars formed the bedrock upon which any development initiative would rest.
“For any development initiative to be successful, we have to first solve the issue of identity.
“This is because a one-to-all approach to solving development issues will make little impact and limit sustainability.
“Individuals function within economic clusters or communities. It is important to take cognisance of these peculiarities in designing an intervention programme.”
Mr. Afolabi Imoukhuede, SSA to the Government on Job Creation, noted six pillars comprising identity, digital literacy, education, agriculture, financial services and health that would facilitate social inclusion and national development.
He added that strong government participation in policymaking, resource allocation and ecosystem development is required to fast track development in these areas.
Imoukhuede lauded Softcom and other partners on their technical expertise in implementing the N-Power project, describing Softcom’s intervention as the ‘eureka’ that brought the government’s objectives to light.
“A traditional method of implementing the program would have limited enrolment and training delivery to fewer than 40,000 participants; however, with the aid of technology, the programme was able to enrol over 500,000 beneficiaries for the graduate and non-graduate programme across the 774 local governments in Nigeria”.
Expressing his delight at the successful implementation of the N-Power project, Imoukhuede stated, “Nigeria now has a transparent, replicable and scalable model that can be adopted across all tiers of government and for all types of development initiatives.
“N-Power will expand into other connected economic clusters that will ensure sustainability and inclusive growth.”
The critical role technology played in the implementation of the N-Power project from the application stage to selection, training and remuneration processes was emphasised.
Speaking further, Adedeji said “we designed a platform that guaranteed transparent recruitment, and beneficiary verification, which ensured that no ghost worker existed in the N-Power programme.
“In addition, the platform enabled effective and seamless multi-stakeholder collaboration.”