Respite for Tech Start-ups as FG Moves to Set up ICT Development Bank - Sundiata Tech

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Respite for Tech Start-ups as FG Moves to Set up ICT Development Bank

Federal Government, through the Federal Ministry of Communications, is making plans to create an Information Communication Technology (ICT) development bank to administer the necessary financial aid that would spur the growth of ICT business in Nigeria.
Speaking yesterday at the opening ceremony of ICTTEL Expo 2017 organised by the Lagos State Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Adebayo Shittu, Minister of Communications said that it has become necessary for the country to establish a specialised ICT development bank to further grow the industry and cushion the harsh economic effects on ICT and telecommunication businesses.
“If you can recall what happened to Etisalat with the issue of a failed loan repayment and how that has affected the telecoms industry, we know that if we had an ICT development bank, the conditions for taking and granting of loans would have been different.
Apart from that, we have a lot of ICT start-ups that require funding to grow their innovative ideas. I believe that if we have an ICT specialised bank, it would certainly be able to take care of the unique conditions within which ICT works. We expect a lot of ideas from stakeholders about how best to establish such a bank, specifically dedicated to the growth of ICT in Nigeria,” Shittu said.
On plans to create a digital single market, the Minister of Communications said that the Ministry is currently collaborating with the European Union Commission to create a digital single market in Nigeria, as the size of Nigeria makes it the most lucrative investment destination in sub-Saharan Africa with a high return on investments and an emerging market that makes it one of the new frontiers for investments and digital market consideration.
Towards achieving this, Shittu stated that he has instructed that a committee is 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.
Also speaking, Nike Akanda, president, LCCI, said this year’s theme; ‘The Digital Economy- Strategies for growth in a connected world’ could not have been more apt, especially at a time like this when the Nigerian economy is in dire need of diversification.
“ICT is strategic in driving productivity and efficiency in all sectors of the economy. Today, virtually all sectors leverage ICT for optimal performance. This is evident in the financial services sector, where electronic banking is now the vogue; the agricultural sector, where government allocates farm inputs through mobile phones to farmers; the consumer goods sector, where online stores and e-commerce has brought an incredible transformation to retail business; the medical sciences where ICT applications are now being widely used for efficiency and many more. The fact is that ICT has become the backbone of businesses,” Akande said.

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