Communications’ bank underway, says Osinbajo
THE Federal Government has perfected plans to establish a Communication Bank to finance ICT Companies in Nigeria and rapidly improve the development of infrastructures in the sector, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo said yesterday.
Speaking at the opening of the 2017 Digital Africa Conference and Exhibition at the Shehu Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja, he said the move was aimed at enhancing business in the sector considering the significance of ICT towards the diversification of the economy.
The Vice President, who was represented by Communications Minister Adebayo Shittu, at the conference with the theme: “The Fourth Industrial Revolution, Getting Africa Ready”, noted that the government would not allow the country to become a dumping ground for ICT products and services in the coming digital revolution.
The conference was organised by Digital Africa.
He said: “I strongly agree with those who say that the fourth industrial revolution is within the control of all of us as long as we are able to collaborate across geographies, sectors and disciplines to grasp the opportunities it presents.
“We should be able to know the place of man in all of this, empower him and always remind ourselves that the new technologies are tools made by people for people.
“The Ministry of Communications has the mandate of the Federal Government to promote and facilitate the development of the ICT industry and increase its contribution to GDP; utilise ICT to drive transparency in governance and improve the quality and cost effectiveness of public service delivery in Nigeria, among others.
“We therefore, share the same vision with the organizers of this conference. We are committed to supporting Digital Africa conference & exhibition in its laudable endeavour and vision to bridge the gap between Africa and the rest of the world in ICT. We extend our goodwill to Digital Africa Conference and Exhibition 2017.
“Let me reiterate that Nigeria should no longer be a dumping ground for ICT products and services. Therefore, the Ministry will support the establishment of companies or organisations in the areas of hardware and software by ensuring that they are protected through regulations or other means. We will assist them to grow.
“We have accepted that Nigeria must take the leadership role in Africa’s ICT ecosystem. Therefore, we are amenable to PPP relationships to drive the Ministry’s projects; 2017 must be a year of action.
“It was part of government’s preparation for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is predicted to happen globally in the very near future, that the Federal Government had conceived a national ICT Park and Exhibition Centre in the Federal Capital Territory.
“The establishment of the centre will encourage investment in the ICT sector and complement the proposed ICT University which will also produce the required skilled manpower for Africa to partake in the inevitable fourth industrial revolution.
“In a bid to enhance business in the ICT sector, the Nigerian government is contemplating on the need to establish a Communications Bank which will be a development bank that will assist in the financing of ICT companies based in Nigeria.”