Nigeria assures investors of prospects


Image: Omobola Johnson Olubusola, nigeria's Minister of Communication Technology. By BiztechAfrica
Omobola Johnson Olubusola, nigeria's Minister of Communication Technology

Nigerian authorities have assured a visiting Indian business delegation that Nigeria is creating a climate conducive to investment and that ICT spend in the country is on a sharp upward curve.

The Indian trade body NASSCOM sent its second mission to Africa this month, to seek out partnerships and investment opportunities. India is investing heavily in Africa, and the Indian government recently pledged to invest hundreds of millions of dollars into African initiatives and training, with up to USD5 billion line of credit.

With up to USD46 billion in trade agreements between India and Africa already in place, India hopes to boost bilateral trade agreements yet further.

As part of the trade initiatives, delegates from 20 ICT companies from India’s National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM),are visiting Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana from 14 to 22 September.

The delegation led by Dr. Jai Menon, Group CIO, Bharti Enterprises & Director - Global Innovation & IT, Airtel and by Anil Bakht, Managing Director, Eastern Software Systems.

During the Nigeria leg of the visit this week, Nigeria’s Minister of Communication and Technology, Omobola Johnson, said Nigeria encouraged foreign investment. She gave the assurance that she would strive to promote foreign investment into the country without hampering local business.

However, she also called on foreign ICT vendors operating in Nigeria to comply with local regulations to ensure healthy competition.

Dr Jimson Olufuye, President of the Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN), said the ICT sector would grow Nigeria’s GDP to USD900 billion in the next nine years. He said ITAN expected partnerships between Nigeria and India to position Nigeria as the premier outsourcing destination in Africa.

NASSCOM said in a statement that Africa has been one of the faster growing markets worldwide in ICT adoption and has the potential of becoming one of the most important markets for the Indian IT industry.  It says the continent has huge unmet ICT demand, with Africa’s IT market headed for growth to levels of USD26.53 billion in 2011.

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