Nahimah Ajikanle Nurudeen
The Minister of Communications, Barrister Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu on Saturday said if properly harnessed, Information and Communications Technology (ICT) tools and devices, software solutions, IT outsourcing and the e-commerce sector alone could employ over 40million Nigerians and contribute billions of dollars to the economy.
Shittu who stated this at the official unveiling of the Huawei’s Innovation and Experience Centre and the joint Huawei/UNILAG CSIC in Lagos noted that ICT currently provides more employments than oil and gas sector.
He urged Huawei Technologies to assist in boosting capacities of local ICT firms in the industry by sharing its expertise to enhance ICT delivery and functionality in Nigeria.
On the part of the government efforts to unlock ICT potentials, the Minister informed that the Nigerian government and Huawei have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to accelerate the sector’s ecosystem.
He said there is also another MoU with Huawei which is capable of creating over 2000 ICT training jobs to young Nigerians.
According to him, there is no don’t that Huawei has become a strategic partner to the Nigerian government in ICT planning and development, “I believe that you will continue to expand your contributions and training programs in Nigeria. The country needs the best strategic partnership in ICT and only the best is good enough for Nigeria. It is with great expectations that I therefore declared this Huawei Innovation and Experience Center open.
“This is an epoch making event for a number of reasons, but most importantly is the fact that the present government is easily the first government to come on stage leveraging the benefits of the digital revolution with strategic partnership with Huawei Chinese company as a leading global supplier of ICT products, solutions and services. Therefore, I would like to use this opportunity to express my appreciation on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria to Huawei Technologies for partnering with the Ministry in the area of Human and Institutional capacity development.”
The Managing Director of Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Ltd., Mr. Frank Li stated that, “Huawei is dedicated to investment of industry innovation driven by both customer needs and new technologies. Huawei will continuously adhere to its strategic focus, investment, and the relentless pursuit of strategic breakthrough to face all challenges together with its partners.”
He further concluded by stating that continuous investment and resources will be put into ICT innovation to drive the digital economy in Nigeria and in other African countries.
The Innovation and Experience Centre will also serve as a training platform to nurture more ICT talents thus Huawei Technologies Nigeria Limited will sign a Joint Innovation MoU with Unilag for this purpose.
Meanwhile, the Consular General, Federal Republic of China in Lagos, Chao Xiaoliang said Huawei is one of the Chinese companies that have grown rapidly in the last 40 years of the country’s development.
According to him, people from all over the world can learn that China is not only the world manufacturer, but also a future designer.
He said China and Nigeria are strategic partners and even share the same National Day.
Xiaoliang said, “We have realised that the sweetness of the fruits from our mutually beneficial cooperation for many years. Under the backdrop of sluggish world economy China is restructuring its industries while Nigeria is diversifying it’s economy. The highly complementary economies and development strategies of our two countries will ensure that our cooperation would achieve win-win results.”
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