The Nigerian government is resolute in creating an enabling environment where digital economy opportunities are not just theoretical but become real, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okey Enelamah has said.
According to the minister, the digital economy had been projected to generate $88 billion for the country and create up to three million jobs in the next three years.
A statement from the Strategy and Communications Adviser, Ministry of Industry Trade and Investment, Mr. Bisi Daniels, yesterday, quoted Enelamah to have said this at the â€œInvest in Nigeria,â€ Summit in California, USA,
â€œThat is why we are here,â€ the minister added.
The Nigerian delegation led by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, included senior government officials, regulators, companies leading the charge of innovation in Nigeria and some of our leading technology talents.
Enelamah disclosed that the technology sector had recorded some good strides – more than doubling in size over the past nine years, now accounting for nine per cent of the countryâ€™s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He recalled some recent landmark investments in the sector, saying, â€œFrom the $20 million fundraise in Andela, to $10 million fundraise in Flutterwave, to the $7 million in SureRemit via a blockchain ICO, $1.1million in Piggybank. There are easily scores of these today and counting.â€
He assured the investors that there was no question about the entrepreneurial spirit of young Nigerians, saying the future is now.
â€œToday we have brought you some of our best: from the government, from the private sector, technology companies, local finance, policy makers. I hope this leaves no doubt as to our commitment to establishing a winning partnership with you in Nigeriaâ€™s technology ecosystem,â€ he added
The primary purpose of the visit was to attract investments into Nigeriaâ€™s burgeoning tech space. It followed the Vice Presidentâ€™s inauguration last month of the Advisory Group on Technology and Creativity, established by President Muhammadu Buhari as part of an effort to boost industrial policies and competitiveness for the country.
The committee has a good number of private sector members with roots in one technology operations or the other. As our source would reveal, the Vice Presidentâ€™s entourage comprises a number of tech-savvy entrepreneurs from that advisory board.
The trip was also to showcase to the world the progress and strides in the countryâ€™s technology, innovation and creative space by Nigerian start-ups and entertainment industry practitioners.
At the meeting held in Silicon Valley on Tuesday, the team interacted with scores of Nigerians working with Google.