Federal Govt’s Policies Will Boost ICT Sector, Says Osinbajo

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Emma Okonji

The Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has assured information and communications technology (ICT) stakeholders that current government policies will boost the ICT sector.

Osinbajo, who gave the assurance at the just concluded 22nd Nigerian Economic Summit (NES) in Abuja , said government is bent on encouraging local content development and local manufacturing that will make Nigeria less dependent on importation of foreign products.

While commending Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG), organisers of the annual NES, for this years’ theme ‘Made in Nigeria’, Osinbajo said there was need for government to support the ICT sector, hence its policy implementation is geared towards enhancing technology development in the county.

Citing this years’ Aso Villa Demo Day in Abuja, Osinbajo said the federal government is already training 65,000 young Nigerian technology startups in the area of technology, with plans to establish two technology hubs in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country that will drive technology development across the country.

The Aso Villa Demo Day initiative is a presidential initiative aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and innovation through the use of new and emerging technologies.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, who also spoke at the economic summit, said his ministry has put several policies in place to boost the economy, such as the Business Enabling Environment Policy, Industrial Revolution Policy, among others.
He said the Business Enabling Environment Policy would assist local and foreign investors to do business with ease in the country, while the policy on industrial revolution would drive business development in the country.

The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, who spoke at the policy dialogue forum of the economic summit, revealed why Nigeria has not been successful in the areas of solid minerals and mining. According to him, the country has good policies for the mining sector, but lacks proper implementation of those policies that should drive the economy. While faulting the legal and regulatory environment of the mining sector, Fayemi said several people are involved in illegal mining in the country and that they see nothing wrong in it, since the mineral resources were located within their farmlands.

Giving insight into what his ministry is doing in the area of mining, Fayemi said: “The ministry is bent on ensuring that Nigeria begins mass production of bitumen for road construction in the next couple of years. The essence is to discourage importation of bitumen for road construction.”
Stakeholders who attended this year’s summit organised by the NESG in collaboration with the Ministry of Budget and National Planning, called on government to put in place, measures that would enable Nigerians have a feel of the impact of the economic policies of government, especially in the area of ICT.