The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry has the potential to fuel and drive Nigeria’s gross economic product (GDP), a global ICT solutions provider, Huawei, has said.
To achieve this, government must put more emphasis on education from the basic level and also provide more opportunities for entrepreneurial young men and women to embrace ICT in exploiting there ideas, the firm said.
Speaking at a media event and interaction, Managing Director, Huawei Nigeria, Frank Li said, “As a foreign investor, my greatest fear in the ICT sector is not the devaluation or the scarcity of dollar but it’s the uncertainties that clouds the economy. However ICT has countless potentials in developing Nigeria’s GDP.”
“During the recession period, every foreign investor had the fear of shutting down and moving out of Nigeria, but with increase in international oil price, Nigeria is gradually experiencing more economic fortunes in external reserves, sovereign weight fund and purchasing manager index (PMI) which have restored the confidence of foreign investors to invest in Nigeria.” Frank Li added.
He noted that the company has huge responsibilities in meeting the demands of over 90 million internet users in Nigeria and also reaching over 200 communities and 40 million people in rural areas who don’t have access to communication service.
Huawei entered the Nigeria market in 1999 and all through the sixteen years; Huawei has developed to be the preferred partner of telecom operators, government’s industry clients and channel resellers with operation in 36 states around the country.
Frank Li further noted that the company have being supporting the government in its various methodologies with the aim of creating more jobs and increasing more revenue for government agencies. He however advised the central bank of Nigeria (CBN) to have a stable currency policy that will attract foreign investors and encourage private sector participation.
Speaking on the company’s plan for 2018, Frank lee added “we are looking at expanding our offices in Nigeria and increasing our work force which will be strictly Nigerians in 2018.
Speaking on the Review the history of ICT development in Nigeria, senior fellow at Pan-Atlantic University and first Director General of Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Vincent Maduka said “GSM was introduced in 2001, as at that time Nigeria could not sustain more than 50,000 subscribers. Obasanjo decided to do a fresh auctioning of telecommunication licence for prospective bidders paving way for new investors such as MTN, ECONET and NITEL.”
“Nigeria boasts of extremely entrepreneurial, tech-savvy and young population and also has the potential to achieve what South Korea and Rwanda has currently achieved.” said Country Editor of The Business Year, Silvia Limbsa at the media event.
“For example, South Korea is the number one country in ICT development index in 2015 and 2016, only overtaken by Iceland in 2017 while Rwanda digital revolution enables it boast of 4G free network round the country.” Silvia Limbsa added.
Silvia Limbsa further added “The government needs to provide a more enabling environment through liberalisation of key ICT sub-sectors such as broadband as well as other sectors like managed services, software, and even blockchain, to create more competition and attract foreign Direct Investment (FDI).”
She however recommended that consistent government polices irrespective of leadership, strong private sector, long term transparent and efficient programme will help ICT boast its contribution to GDP.