Dr. Isa Pantami, director-general, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) said Nigeria is set to attract more investments into the information and communications technology (ICT) space in the next few months.
Pantami disclosed this yesterday in an interview with LEADERSHIP immediately after declaring open the Nigerian Pavilion at the Gulf International Information Technology Exhibition, GITEX 2018 Technology Week 2018 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates which is holding at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Pantami alongside Professor Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); Engr. Yusuf Kazaure, managing director, Galaxy Backbone Limited; Prof Sahalu Junaid, head of department, Computer Science Department, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and Dr. Vincent Adetunji, director, e-Government and Regulation, NITDA and other dignitaries declared the pavilion open.
He said , “During GITEX, we look for potential investors, those that are willing to come and invest in Nigeria, which is very important because most of the developed nations in ICT today, developed through foreign investors who invested in their countries, like here in UAE, it is the same, in the US, it is the same.
“So, it is very important to look for potential investors and ask them to come to Nigeria and invest. And you can only convince them to invest in Nigeria by showing the potentials you have there,” the DG said.
Highlighting some of the key potentials that would be pitched to the investors, the DG said Nigeria is a country with estimated 190 million population and the country is strategically positioned as the gateway of West Africa.
“At the same time, we are in-between west Africa and Central Africa. In the remaining West African countries, you have around 200 million while Nigeria alone has 190 million. And in Central Africa, you have around 150 million.
“So, if you are in Nigeria, you are in-between West Africa and Central Africa and we have advantage of our digital natives. Our population has been dominated by youths and youths are naturally inclined to ICT and this is the situation in Nigeria,” he said.
The DG added that Nigeria now has policies and laws that make investments much easier, citing for instance, the Ease of Doing Business policy, which enables registration of a company within 24 hours and the availability of Visa-on-arrival for potential investors. He added that the government was also giving tax holiday for investors in the ICT sector.