Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Nigerian Government to Establish ICT Development Bank
By Ag. Editor - June 6, 2017
Nigerian National Accord

… Says Nigeria should no longer be a dumping ground for ICT products and services

BY VICTOR EFFIONG : In a bid to enhance business in the ICT sector, the federal government said it is planning to establish an Information and Communications Technology, ICT bank.

The Minister of Communications, Barrister Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu who said this in the ongoing 2017 Digital Africa Conference & Exhibition in Abuja, emphasized that the government is “contemplating on the need to establish a Communications Bank which will be a development bank that will assist in the financing of ICT companies based in Nigeria,” a statement said.

Shittu said “the recent inauguration of the reconstituted Nigerian National Broadband Council and the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Smart City Project is aimed at assisting the government in providing diverse and global input in developing a comprehensive framework to help public and private stakeholders to make informed decisions about Smart City investment strategies.

“The goal is to accelerate economic diversification, boost technology tourism, generate the much needed revenue for government, and create employment for the teeming youthful population.

In the same vein, the minister said the ministry has resolved to make sure the country no longer serve as dumping ground for ICT products.

“Let me reiterate that Nigeria should no longer be a dumping ground for ICT products and services. Therefore, the Ministry will support the establishment of companies or organizations in the areas of hardware and software by ensuring that they are protected through regulations or other means. We will assist them to grow.

“We have accepted that Nigeria must take the leadership role in Africa’s ICT ecosystem. Therefore, we are amenable to PPP relationships to drive the Ministry’s projects; 2017 must be a year of action.

“The Ministry of Communications has the mandate of the Federal Government to promote and facilitate the development of the ICT industry and increase its contribution to GDP; .Utilize ICT to drive transparency in governance and improve the quality and cost effectiveness of public service delivery in Nigeria, among others.

The minister also stated  that the Ministry of Communications is determined to diversify the economy by leveraging on ICT as its benefits cannot be over-emphasized.

“I have instructed that a committee be raised comprising the ministry’s agencies and the Nigerian Computer Society on the new Digital Single Market paradigm ahead of the EU/Africa Summit holding November 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia,” Shittu said.

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