Innoson Group Partners Chinese Consortium to Invest $1bn in Nigerian IT Sector

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  • Osinbajo receives group today

By Emma Okonji

The federal government’s initiative to attract foreign investments into the country is beginning to yield results, just as Innoson Group is partnering a consortium of Chinese investors to invest a whopping $1 billion into Nigeria’s information technology (IT) sector.

The investment plan includes $400 million, which will be invested in Nigeria’s Digital Switch Over (DSO) project that has to do with the country’ migration from analogue to digital broadcasting by 2017, using the Digital Satellite TV Station and an additional $600 million covering other important sectors.

Meanwhile, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, will today receive the consortium of Chinese Foreign Investment Group led by the Deputy Minister of Communist Party of China in Shandong Province, Liu Baoju, who is equally the Chairman of Shandong Broadcasting Group and Shandong Cable Interactive Service Ltd, the world’s biggest TV operators, as well as the  Senior Vice President of Inspur Group and President of its Overseas Headquarters, Huang Gang.

Inspur Group is China’s leading cloud computer solution supplier and cloud service provider involving all IT applications.

This visit, which comes as one of the gains of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to China, will attract a foreign investment of $1 billion. The breakdown of the investment as currently agreed by the Chinese consortium, include: Financial foreign investment credit facility of $300 million for local production and supply of a minimum five to eight million  Set-Top Boxes to support the federal government DSO project being handled by the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission, scheduled to hold  in June 2017.

It also includes financial foreign investment of $100 million to establish the latest technology and biggest Direct-To-Home (DTH) Digital BING Television Station across all states of Nigeria.

The investment plan will be followed by another $600 billion investment in which negotiations is almost fully concluded with Chinese strategic partners to cover some areas of the Nigerian economy, which include: Smart City (CCTV camera) using cloud computing total solution that is known as E-Policing to cover the whole landmass of Nigeria; Cloud Computing Total Solution on Taxation with IT applications for such institutions as Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and other taxation agencies for seamless and stress-free tax collection mechanism; and E-Education IT Solutions with big data centres for all Federal Universities and Polytechnics in the country

Innoson Group, that is partnering the Chinese Consortium, is Nigeria’s first indigenous and largest local manufacturer of automobiles and the largest plastic-processing manufacturer in West Africa.

The company has decided to be part of history as one of the companies that will take Nigeria into the digital world. In order to keep up with its trend of opening new grounds, it has decided to diversify into IT and the multi media sector with the plan to launch a Satellite Digital TV operation and other services in partnership with Shandong Broadcasting Group and Shandong Cable Interactive Service Ltd China, with technical support from Inspur Group Co Ltd, China.

The foreign investment is coming at a time when Nigeria is in dire need of foreign investors to boost the economy. The focus point of the investment will go a long way to boost the economy of Nigeria.

While listing the benefits of the partnership with the Chinese Consortium, the Public Relations and Media Assistant, Innoson Group, Cornel Osigwe, said the partnership would assist the federal government to meet its June 2017 deadline for the transition from analogue to digital broadcasting services; establish  40 lines of production and manufacturing complex for making broadcast digital Set-Top-Boxes, the biggest of its kind in the whole of Africa;  job creation of over 5,000 jobs in the Innoson Group Set-Top-Box manufacturing complex in Nigeria within the next two years; and Job creation of about 2,000 jobs by Innoson BING Digital DTH Television operation across Nigeria with the first two years.

Other benefits according to Osigwe, include assisting Nigeria to become the manufacturing hub for Set-Top-Box in Africa with the attendant benefit of earning foreign exchange through exports from Innoson Manufacturing Complex. Innoson Group would put into use its biggest plastic industry at Enugu by locally manufacturing most of the plastic components of the Set-Top-Box thereby saving cost. Another benefit is that BING TV Project will engage the Nigerian Communication Satellite (NIGCOMSAT) situated at Obasanjo Space Centre in Abuja with its numerous benefits of saving foreign exchange by buying into Nigeria available goods and services, instead of engaging foreign satellite and transponders as all our other competitors here in Nigeria are currently doing.

It is also expected to provide adequate national security using cloud computing technology to secure Nigeria against insurgency, militancy, kidnapping and all other forms of dangerous crimes, Osigwe said.