Nigeria’s delegation led by the Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA), Dr. Isa Pantami at the ongoing Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) Technology Week in Dubai, has wooed the global investment community to consider Nigeria a worthwhile economy where there is a vast untapped potential for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) investments.
Dr Pantami said in a speech at the Africa Investment Forum at Dubai World Trade Centre, where the event is going on that there was an enabling environment created by the Buhari administration’s Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PBEC), for businesses to thrive in Nigeria.
He debunked all the misconceptions about doing business in Nigeria especially in the area of security of life and property, stressing that the problem of insecurity has been fought significantly and that investors have been having safe business operations contrary to false information on the Internet.
Aside the opportunity for Visa on arrival which Nigerian offers investors, Pantami said ICT sector currently contributed 11.27 per cent to the total nominal GDP in the 2nd Quarter of 2017, stressing that while they are guaranteed better returns on investment, Nigeria will also benefit by boosting its GDP contribution from IT through such investment.
Pantami , while giving the investors insight into the potentials of the Nigerian economy, said it is thriving towards increasing the broadband penetration in Nigeria to 30 per cent by 2018 that the country developed a comprehensive National Broadband Plan (NBP).
“We see a good potential for growth in the sector and we are creating an environment that can significantly increase the sector’s contribution to the nation’s GDP.
“As such, this is a good time to invest in our ICT sector and we invite you to partner with us in this season of growth,” he said.
According to him, NITDA has an Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE) which hunts talents and support promising Nigerian startups in the ICT.
“The activities of the OIIE have enabled the ICT startup innovation ecosystem in Nigeria to grow at a remarkable pace. One of our startups- Genie Games- won the 2nd position at the keenly contested Startup Movement Competition at GITEX 2016.
“Many Nigerian startups have also won plaudits from home and abroad. For example, HopStop, an online city transit App acquired by Apple for a whopping $1 billion, was owned by a Nigerian-born Entrepreneur.
“ Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, visited Nigeria last year and had very complimentary things to say about the quality of ICT talent in the country.
His foundation also provided $24 million funding for Andella, a Nigerian company focused on building World-Class Software Development Teams.
“Konga.com, a Nigerian e-commerce company, attracted over $65m funding in 2014. Also, out of a record-breaking total of $366.8m raised by African startups in 2016, investments in Nigerian startups had the largest share of $109.4m.”
The DG added that more than 50 per cent of what they (potential investors) needed to assembly product towards localising and domesticating their IT investments can be sourced from Nigeria, saying there is tax-friendly policy to support the investors in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, investors from the United States of America, Indian, Germany, Norway and from within Nigeria, who had good representation at the forum have expressed interest in coming to Nigeria having listened to presentations on investment potentials from Nigerian representatives.