International investors show interest in Nigeria’s ICT sector

By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria

Investors from the United States of America (U.S), India, Germany and Norway at the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) Technology Week in Dubai have expressed interest in investing in Nigeria’s ICT sector.

They expressed interest after listening to presentation at the forum from Nigerian representatives.

Nigeria's delegation is led by the Director-General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Pantami.

He urged the global investment community to consider Nigeria a place where there is a vast untapped potential for ICT investments.

Presenting a speech at the Africa Investment Forum at Dubai World Trade Centre, Dr Pantami said there was an enabling environment created by President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PBEC), for businesses to thrive in Nigeria.

He explained particularly clear all the misconceptions about doing business in Nigeria especially in the area of security of life and property, stressing 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  Quarter 2 of this year, stressing that while they are guaranteed better returns on investment, Nigeria will also benefit by boosting its GDP contribution from IT through such investment.

Offering the investors insight into the potentials of the Nigerian economy, Pantami said towards increasing the broadband penetration in Nigeria to 30 per cent by 2018, the country has developed a comprehensive National Broadband Plan (NBP).

He said: “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.”

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 focussed on building World-Class Software Development Teams.

“Konga.com, a Nigerian e-commerce company, attracted over $65 million funding in 2014.  Also, out of a record-breaking total of $366.8 million raised by African startups in 2016, investments in Nigerian startups had the largest share of $109.4 million.

“These investment stories underscore the viability of the Nigerian startups and the capacity of Nigerians to conceive ingenious ideas. We invite you, our potential investors, to take advantage of this massive talent pool as you invest in Nigeria,” he added.

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