Communications Ministry seeks EU’s support for 2017-2020 ICT roadmap
The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, yesterday commended the European Union (EU) for supporting the enthronement of a digital economy in Nigeria and Africa.
He solicited EU’s support for the country’s Information Communication Technology (ICT) strategic roadmap for 2017-2020, saying the union’s vast resources and strength would go a long way to help the country achieve this objective.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the sixth EU-Nigeria business forum in Lagos, Shittu said Nigeria believes in partnerships and has valuable experiences to share, as it imbibes best practices from other countries.
He said the Ministry was ready to assist in the area of regulatory controls, which he stressed, will help investors in ICT.He restated government’s commitment to ensuring a regulatory environment that would attract the massive private sector investment required to further accelerate the creation of a robust ICT infrastructure across the country in the next few years.
“We believe this is essential to drive socio-economic development, improve the living standards of the people and empower them to leverage ICT in all its ramifications,” he added.
Shittu said government was addressing the issues of investment in ICT infrastructure, education and regulation in order to build on the successes of digital revolution, stating that the present administration has acknowledged technology as an integral tool for growth and sustainable development.
He said the Nigeria’s ICT sector was one of the fastest growing in the world in spite of the economic recession and had contributed 9.8 per cent to gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014 alone.
Head of Delegation to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Ketil Karlsen, said the best way to create stability, sustain democracy and address conflicts in the country was to give real opportunities, jobs and the right skills to address the needs of the private sector.
“Today, we are launching the 2017 EU-Nigeria business forum, with focus on youth, women, how the ICT industry and agriculture can provide jobs, supported by European investors, which is definitely one of our main priorities in Nigeria,” he said.Karlsen pointed out that the trade between the EU members and Nigeria was already very significant, adding, “We are each other’s biggest trade partners in this part of the world”.
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