Nigeria must invest heavily in technological development and management, which will in turn aid growth and suitable competitiveness in various sectors of the economy, Commissioner for Insurance, National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Mohammed Kari has said.
He made this call at the maiden conference on Management, Technology and Development of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, Bauchi State.
The Commissioner, therefore, challenged the University’s Faculty of Management Technology to reach out to insurance sector to maximise its contribution of technology in the country and ensure some relationship is developed soonest.
He noted that as robust as the curriculum vitae (CV) of the faculty was, as read out by the Dean, it was sad to see that it is yet to have a partnership with ithe nsurance sector.
He said investment in technology is necessary if the country is to maximise the contribution of technology to innovation and productivity in industry.
He noted that to ensure this, the government needs to address key action areas, which include translating research to business, provide incentives to innovate, local and international collaboration, and technology adoption.
He said: “Taking full advantage of research and realising the full innovation dividend for the economy requires significant improvements in the translation of research to business. Many systematic and cultural barriers exist, as well as market failures that can be profitably addressed by government action.
“Incentivising and facilitating businesses, particularly small to medium enterprises, to efficiently adopt new technologies can further lift innovation, productivity growth and competitiveness. Improving collaboration in Nigeria between businesses and publicly funded research institutions including the universities, will significantly enhance innovation. International collaboration is also critically important. Both domestic and international collaboration will improve the productivity and competitiveness of Nigerian technology based firms.
“Also, technological innovation is key to building industry competitiveness, through increasing productivity and reducing costs, realising commercial opportunities from research investment, and creating new areas of competitive advantage.”
He rated technology and its application as one of, if not the main driver that can fast track any meaningful development.
He pointed out that there is no denying the fact that the changes in technology have affected most industries worldwide. According to him, globalisation, which dominates the world today, was influenced mainly by information technology.
“Information technology (IT) has transformed the process of production, product design, raw materials sourcing, transport, manufacturing, health care, marketing, service delivery and even general management.
“There is also no denying the fact that industrial competitiveness has enabled countries to increase their presence in international and domestic markets whilst developing industrial sectors and activities with higher value added and technological content,” he added.