Nigeria remains Africa’s ICT investment destination-Minister
The Minister for Communication, Mr Adebayo Shittu, said on Tuesday that Nigeria had become a major investment destination for investors in the Information Communication Technology(ICT) in Africa and around the world.
Shittu said this during the African Investment Summit, as part of events at the ongoing Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX 2016) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates(UAE).
He said that this was so because of Nigeria’s huge market and abundant resources.
According to him, Nigeria is the centre of economic and ICT development in the West African sub-region.
“Nigeria has a population of about 180 million people, which is more than the total population of the remaining 15 nations in the West African sub –region.
“Our nation is a huge market and the centre of economic activities in the sub-region as well as ICT development in Africa.
“Major investors in the ICT sector should not miss these opportunities of mutual benefits which Nigeria presents.
“ There is abundant human and natural resources to drive ICT investment in the country,” he said.
The minister told the summit that over 140 universities in Nigeria offer ICT or Computer Studies courses, while 25 banks are offering world class services in the country.
“The nation has been making giant strides in ICT during international fora on ICT and we are going to do more as witnessed in the ongoing shortlisting of start ups for GITEX 2016.
“We are proud to say that one of Nigeria’s participating start ups is among the five competitors for the final prize of GITEX 2016.
“These and many more are indicators that the nation has come of age in ICT activities,” Shittu said.
Similarly, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, the Head of Service,Nigeria, said the nation had been going places in ICT development, adding that the world would soon begin to see greater ICT development in Nigeria.
“Nigeria’s participation in GITEX will really help the world to grow in ICT because we have other nations to compete with.
“I have no doubt in my mind that we will be among the best participants in the start up competition,” she said.
Oyo-Ita told the investors that the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari was ready to promote ICT development and deployment in the country.
Dr Isa Pantami, the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), urged the investors and innovators to take advantage of the nation’s huge talents in ICT.
“During a recent visit, Mr Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook , said what he saw during interactions with Nigerian youths really blew his mind, which shows that potential ICT investors can engage them.
“Our ICT innovations are not targeting local consumption alone but global consumers as seen in our start ups. We are ready to collaborate with local and foreign investors for seamless relationships.
“The Federal Government is more determined to increase its revenue earning from other sectors apart from oil, which ICT has the potential to provide for the nation,” he said.
Prof. Sonny Tyoden, Deputy Governor, Plateau, seized the opportunity to woo investors to the state, highlighting its potentials.
“We are planning to establish an ICT Park in Jos , the capital of the state, and we are ready to partner world class investors in the project.
“ Plateau state has the most temperate weather in the country and we assure you of high investment opportunity in the state,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) reports GITEX is an annual event where start-ups and manufacturers and Investors in ICT meet annually in Dubai to develop the sector globally.
The GITEX African Summit is organised for African participating nations and organisations to interact with their global counterparts, also to showcase their innovations.
NAN recalled that 16 ICT start ups from Nigeria that are participating in 2016 GITEX are competing with more than 400 start ups from 64 countries around the world.