Accelerating digital transformation for the Nigerian SME was the central focus of discourse at the August edition of the Nigeria-South African Chamber of Commerce breakfast meeting.
In her presentation titled “Digital Transformation and the Nigerian SME” Keynote speaker, Lynda Saint-Nwafor, Chief Enterprise Business Officer, MTN Nigeria, stated that Nigerian SMEs are important contributors to job creation and global economic development, with a 49.8% contribution to GDP and 86.3% contribution to the workforce.
According to her, digital transformation integrates all aspects of the business and involves a complete rethink and redesign.
“SMEs are the engine of the economy; they start small, but with the right direction, can grow to impact the economy. SMEs’ adoption of digital technology to drive business models will lead to an overall improvement in business performance, expanded markets, and superior customer service. driving innovation, increased revenue, and reducing poverty.”
She further highlighted the critical issues in the sector such as access to markets, funding, knowledge, and skills, as well as infrastructure deficit.
Lynda called for a digital transformation, which integrates all areas of business, people, processes, systems, and tools. This includes an understanding of customer needs and market insights, developing digital value propositions, increasing access to markets, upskill resources, leveraging digital and social media channels amongst others. These, she advised will help drive digital transformation.
On the government side, she stressed the need to promote digital infrastructure development by encouraging business innovation, developing locally relevant digital solutions, and leveraging the right partnerships.
The chairman, Nigeria-South Africa Chamber of Commerce, Osayaba Giwa-Osagie (SAN) who gave the opening remarks, and the moderator of the session, vice-chairman, Ajibola Olomola agreed, stating that the time is ripe to re-prioritise to drive growth and scale.