The Federal Government has disclosed that the United States of America (USA) and other key foreign allies hold the ace to deepening technology ecosystem in Nigeria, in order to create a long-lasting technological innovation and economic growth.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Richard Adeniyi Adebayo made this disclosure at a breakfast meeting of the U.S. Nigeria Council (USNC) for Food Security, Trade and Investment on the margins of the just concluded 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City, USA, recently.
He said that technology hubs are critical to the country’s economic growth in order to enable start-ups companies to flourish.
Adebayo charged foreign investors to explore and strengthen the country’s Information Communication and Technology (ICT) sector in a bid to build a strong digital economy.
The Industry minister assured 40 key members of the USNC that the present administration under President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to creating an enabling environment that will allow technology start-ups companies to flourish in the country.
According to him, government is doing its best, saying it has been launching different technology hubs in the country to achieve digital economy.
He added that resources play a critical role in achieving a digital economy and technology driven based nation.
Adebayo said, “We must create the governmental environment that will help these technology start-ups flourish. “The government is helping to launch several technology hubs and it’s important we put more resources into this.”
For the Chairman of the USNC, Ambassador (ret.) Terence McCulley, the focus of the breakfast meeting was on strengthening Nigeria’s digital economy by allowing US investors targeting the Nigerian market to invest in the country’s ICT and start-ups sector in order to further boost her economy.
According to him, Nigeria’s digital and ICT sector need foreign investment to grow and attain a technology driven based economy. He said, “Foreign investment is vital to building the technology ecosystem in Nigeria.”
Also speaking at the occasion, the former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and Emir of Kano, His Highness Muhammadu Sanusi II explained that developmental impact in terms of technological innovation and corporate venture partnerships were critical to Nigeria’s economic growth.
He added that such developmental impacts are needed in the country’s education and health sectors of the economy.
Sanusi explained that about three million children are out of school in the North because of lack of infrastructure funding for schools and teachers salary payments.
“When we apply our minds to utilise innovation and technology to boost our goals in education and health, we will see great social returns.
“Three million children are out of school in the north of the country, but there’s not enough funding for schools and teachers. Digital innovation can help us think beyond the conventional ways to solve this problem,” Sanusi said.
The USNC, is a business organization dedicated to fostering commercial ties between the US and Nigeria, with members cutting across key sectors of the economy in the USA and Nigeria.