Adebayo Shittu, minister of Communications has called for more collaborative efforts with India to deepen Nigeria's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector growth.
This was contained in Shittu’s keynote address, Wednesday, during the Indo-Africa ICT Expo 2017, organised by the Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC) held in Lagos.
Coincidentally, the India Government said, it has set aside $10 billion for Indo-Africa trade aimed at promoting ICT innovation and development across African continent.
The Minister said that the partnership would ensure that Nigerian businesses tap into reservoir of knowledge among their Indian counterparts and develop technology-based solutions for the Nigerian, African and even the global market.
According to him, there are numerous opportunities for partnerships between both public and private sector of Nigeria and India.
''I implore Indian investors to explore areas to further enhance the lives of our people through technology.
''Nigeria has huge unmet ICT demand and businesses that were apprehensive till some time back have realised the potential of ICT and are willing to invest in this sector.
''The unmet ICT demand in Nigeria offer huge opportunities for Indian companies, arising in segment such as products and services related to mobility, security solution, telecommunications, education, capacity building among others,'' he said.
Shittu said that according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), out of the 940 million people living in the least developed countries, most of them being in Africa, only 89 million people use the internet, corresponding to a 9.5 per cent penetration rate.
He said that ITU had projected that by the end of 2017, only 50 per cent households in developing countries would have access, compared with more than 80 per cent in the developing countries.
According to him, these statistics are a clear call for the need to identify opportunities for collaboration, sharing best practices and exploring inclusive technologies to drive the world into a truly connected community.
Indo-Africa: India Courts Nigeria On Digital Economy Agenda
Mr. Manoj Sinha, minister for Communications, Government of India said that the Country globally recognised as an outstanding example to all developing economies in Information and Communications Technologies, ICTs., has shown interest in assisting Nigeria actualize its digital economy initiatives.
Sinha reflected on how India has grown to be the world’s largest sourcing destination for the Information and Communications Technology, ICT, industry, accounting for approximately 67 per cent of the $124-130 billion market.
According to him, an efficient national identity management system is strategic to achieving digital economy, particularly in delivering services to the citizens.
He said that India's investment footprints in Africa have always depicted ICT as critical to opening up the Continent for other sectorial growths such as telecoms, e-Governance, e-Health, agro-technology, ecommerce, among others.
India Earmarks $10Bn For Indo-Africa Trade
India Government has set aside $10 billion for Indo-Africa trade aimed at promoting ICT innovation and development across African continent, added Mr. Sanjay Nayak, co-chairman, TEPC and CEO, Tejas Networks.
He said Indian Government, via its Communication ministry, hopes that the move will ensure mutually beneficial growth between Africa and India as there is hardly shortage of ideas but shortage of capital in the continent.
Mr. Sanjay also revealed that India now boasts of lowest telecoms tariffs in the world thanks to years of technology innovation and deployment of latest, highest quality and lowest cost technology.
According to him, Indian companies can replicate such success in Nigeria and other African countries. “Indian IT services are what you can trust. You do not have to worry about it. Every ICT problems you intend to solve in the next five years India is ready to partner. We will make sure you grow your industry as we grow our own.”
He said that TEPC recognises the strength of building a design-led manufacturing ecosystem for telecom products and service, adding that TEPC is further committed to support the creation of domestic products and enable manufacturing with high domestic value-addition.