Indian tech funders push for partnerships and investments in Nigeria

Some 20 major Indian ICT companies under the umbrella of the National Association of Computer and Software Companies of India (NASSCOM) are in Nigeria seeking partnerships and investment opportunities in the country’s growing tech sector.

The touring members of NASSCOM joined their Nigerian counterparts under the aegis of the Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN) at a one-day business summit with the theme ‘Empowering and Resuscitating Local IT Entrepreneurs via Local Content Development and Funding.’

NASSCOM deliberated on potential avenues through which they can forge business partnerships, describing the Nigerian ICT sector, which in the last decade has attracted investments worth more than US$20 billion, as burgeoning.

Areas under consideration for partnerships include technology transfers, domestication, deployment of local talent by Indian firms and supporting indigenous Nigerian technology entrepreneurs in order to improve the growth of the manpower aspect of the industry in Nigeria.

Florence Seriki, the president of ITAN, described the summit as “a statement of need to sustain the creation of platform for local ICT firms to collaborate among key global ICT players.”

“Indeed, our goal ultimately is to bridge the digital divide in competitive capacity development of the local enterprises, by also creating education, by also creating education opportunities, influencing policy formulations in ICT development, promotion. And enhancement of the Nigerian ICT industry with other relevant stakeholders,” Seriki said.

The head of the Indian delegation and the president of NASSCOM, Som Mittal, described the NASSCOM as encompassing more than 1,300 companies in India.

He said members of the association see Nigeria as having an enormous market and being capable of revolutionising ICT globally if its indigenous companies partner with their foreign counterparts.

“We are committed to healthy partnership with our Nigerian counterparts. [As a matter of fact], our investments in Nigeria have been continuous and we would ensure that we work with local partners to engage in developing both the Indian market and the Nigerian economy in the area of ICT,” Mittal said.

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