Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo says that Federal Government is aggressively investing for Nigeria to begin export of information and communication technology (ICT) skills.
The Vice President dropped this hint at the opening ceremony of the eNigeria 2016 with the theme: “Leveraging ICT Innovation for Economic Diversification” held this week at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
We have budgeted for training of 65,000 young Nigerians in hardware and software Services as part of the Social Investment Programme of the Federal Government which has a very active collaboration with the Ministry of Communication and, of course NITDA.
Under the plan, Federal Government, the Ministry of Communications and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) will collaborate to train young Nigerians on production of local ICT products to reduce the country’s dependency on foreign ICT products.
“We have budgeted for training of 65,000 young Nigerians in hardware and software Services as part of the Social Investment Programme of the Federal Government which has a very active collaboration with the Ministry of Communication and, of course NITDA.
“This will mean that we will be building more local capacity to assemble hardware, to write innovative programs. We will also be focusing on technology for media and entertainment which is a big growth area. We intent to create a reservoir of human capacity in technology that can be exported internationally,” Osinbajo told the eNigeria forum.
Speaking on policies, the Vice President said policy formation will involve a lot of collaborations between the private and public Sectors, while adding that the latter is ready for such collaborations as there is need to identify those policies that will make a difference.
In line with this, it may be recalled that last month, a Nigerian automobile company, Innoson Group, joined forces with three Chinese firms to invest $1 billion in local production of TV Set-Top boxes in Nigeria.
Series of agreements were signed which include a credit facility of $300 million for local production and supply of 5-8 million Set-Top Boxes for the Digital Switch-Over in broadcasting in the country to meet a target date of June 2017.
It also include a further investment of $600m for Smart City CCTV camera and IT solutions for taxation, both using Cloud Computing, and E-Education IT solutions with big data centers in all federal universities and polytechnics in the country.
These Chinese firms, Shangdong Broadcasting Group, Shangdong Cable Interactive Services and Inspur Group – will be investing the $1 billion in the Nigerian economy over the next 12-24 months.
While responding to the signed agreement, the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said we are at a point that we must engage technological solutions in our development plans. He said this administration is committed to spur manufacturing and local production in the country, and that is why the initiative of Innoson Group to work with Chinese partners is being addressed as a “strategic collaboration.”
Osinbajo said the Federal Government will ally with business interests who can facilitate the plan, adding that “manufacturing in Nigeria is a primary objective of this government. It is a work we intend to do in the next few years to manufacture and produce in Nigeria as much as we can.”