The Minister of Communications, Dr Isa Ali-Pantami, has asserted that with the bourgeoning development going on in Nigeria’s Information and Communications Technology, ICT, global potential investors would sooner or later regret not coming into the country.
The minister made the assertion on Wednesday during the ongoing 2019 Global Investment Technology Exhibition, GITEX, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
He said: “Potential investors can take advantage of our Ease of Doing Business initiatives like Visa-on-arrivals and fully automated business registration, which has been made so easy that a company could be registered in a day and at the comfort of one’s home.
“Also in Nigeria, we also have tax holidays for potential ICT investors. So, if you fail to invest in Nigeria, you will come to regret it sooner or later,” Mr Pantami stressed.
According to the ministry, Nigeria is on the verge of transforming from the resource-based to digital-based economy which was made possible by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
Hesaid: “We have been working tirelessly on increasing our BroadBand penetration in the country. In 2015, when President Muhammadu Buhari came on board, Nigeria’s broadband penetration was only 5%, but as I am talking to you, it has increased to 15%. Consequently, Nigeria’s GDP has increased as a result.
“However, we are not resting on our oars as we are currently looking at deliberate strategies to increase the broadband penetration across the country,” Mr Pantami pointed out.
Speaking on digital literacy, the minister said efforts were on to enable many Nigerians acquire requisite skills to be able to manipulate digital gadgets and access vast educational resources online.
“Young Nigerians will be trained on how to manipulate ICT gadgets and the ministry of education is on board to ensure that all Nigerians can read and write.
“Most importantly, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the National e-governance masterplan, and by 2023, Nigeria will achieve full implementation of e-governance,” Mr Pantami disclosed.
Speaking earlier, the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, NITDA, Kashifu Abdullahi, also assured the potential investors of enabling environment and legal framework for the ICT development in the country.
According to him, in August 2017, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment published the list of 27 new industries eligible to enjoy the pioneer status incentive in the country.
He said: “Companies investing in these sectors receive tax holidays for three to five years. Some of the sectors include E-commerce services, Business Process Outsourcing and Software development and publishing. You are invited to invest in the sectors.”
Mr Inuwa also noted that the country’ s hardware sub-sector presents a very good investment opportunity.
“The Ikeja Computer Village is the largest technology market cluster in West Africa and is estimated to contribute about $2billion to Nigeria’s economy annually.
“We currently have just 7 local Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) who can barely even meet 20% of the local demand for computer hardware by government alone, not to talk of the entire country.
“We are interested in investors willing to establish world class Original Design Manufacturing (ODM) factories in Nigeria to guarantee quality components for local assembly.
“With a thriving ICT sector, innovative and youthful population, as well as a business-friendly environment, the Nigerian ICT sector is an investor’s haven! I invite you all to take advantage of this mutually beneficial opportunity to invest. I thank you all for attending this AIF and we look forward to partnering with you,” the DG stated.