Speaking at the opening of third Indo-Africa ICT Expo in Lagos, Sanjay Nayak, Co-chairman of India’s Telecom Equipment & Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC), disclosed that India is ready to help Nigeria develop the three core areas – Telecom Infrastructure, Innovative Software Development and Citizens Software.
He noted that India’s experience and capabilities in skill development, technology, provision of end-to-end solutions, continuous support system and long term proven expertise makes it a worthy partner for Nigeria’s ICT development. “India is ready to support Nigeria in its journey through digital evolution.”
In his address, the Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu recalled collaborative agreements Nigeria had reached with India, disclosing that India has pledged to invest $4 billion in Nigeria and hopes that Nigeria’s request for 1000 solar base station masts for 1000 rural communities in the country will be granted soon.
Barr. Shittu pointed out that the technological requirements in Nigeria offer huge opportunities for Indian companies, arising in segments such as products and services related to mobility, security solution, telecom, education, capacity building, tourism healthcare eCommerce and enterprise solutions.
“Nigerian businesses will no doubt tap into reservoir of knowledge among their Indian counterparts and develop technology based solutions for the Nigerian, African and even the global market. There are numerous opportunities for partnerships between both public and private sector of Nigeria and India. I implore Indian investors to explore areas to further enhance the lives of our people through technology. Nigeria has huge unmet ICT demand and businesses that were apprehensive till some time back have realized the potential of ICT and are willing to invest in this sector, setting in motion a number of key trends that is reshaping the economic landscape in Nigeria.”
Other country Ministers at the conference included Deputy Minister of Communications, Ghana, Mr. Vincent Sowah Odotel, and State Minister of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Mr. Getachew Negash Tekla.
In his commitment to the partnership between his country and Nigeria, India’s Minister of Communications, Manoj Sinha, said the third edition of the Indo-Africa ICT Expo in Nigeria has special significance, not only for India and Nigeria, but also for the entire Africa, adding that the success of the first two editions held in Kenya gave the organisers the confidence to shift the focus to West Africa.
“I strongly believe that the vast experience gained by India in setting up of ICT infrastructure can be leveraged by the governments as well as the private business enterprises in Africa. To explore synergies on the ground in ICTs, more than 50 ICT companies from India are participating in this ICT Expo” he said.
Citing the key capabilities of Indian companies and what they can offer Nigeria, the Minister said that India companies have developed the engineering capabilities and experience with smart innovations. “They have the ability to train employees at scale; innovative business models at low cost. This makes them well-positioned to support the booming African ICT sector” he said.
According to the Indian Minister, India and Africa having similar demographic and ICT usage profile and should therefore work together to achieve common goal of establishing digital economy in respective countries.
“We are fully committed to share our ICT experiences, expertise and software skills with other countries in the developing world. India is also willing to explore opportunities of financing the emerging opportunities”.