Omobola Johnson, Nigeria’s communication technology minister. CC image courtesy of the World Economic Forum, on Flickr.
The current growth in Nigeria’s ICT sector is sustainable, communication technology minister Omobola Johnson told the just-concluded Nigeria Summit organised by The Economist.
Johnson said the growth could be harnessed and leveraged to deliver on the transformational opportunities in Nigeria.
“With the exception of a couple of sub-sectors, the 26 sub-sectors that make up the ICT sector are positioned for high to medium growth and in turn have high to medium capacity to create jobs and wealth,” Johnson said.
She said by effectively executing Nigeria’s national strategic agenda for the sector, ICT could be leveraged to drive and support the socio-economic transformation of Nigeria. She said Connect Nigeria, Connect Nigerians, Local Content and ICT in governance are the four priorities.
“Focusing on these four priorities will enable us deliver a digital revolution that will be broader, deeper and much more impactful than the telecoms revolution that we are ever so proud of,” she said.
She decried the dominance of Nigeria’s ICT industry by foreign companies. According to her, international companies control 70 per cent of Nigeria’s PC market and 100 per cent of the mobile phone market, while more than 70 per cent of the mobile network operators are owned by foreign companies.
“Now please don’t get me wrong, the presence of international companies is necessary and it is a good thing especially in a sector as global and advanced as the ICT sector but when it gets to a point where companies owned by Nigerians are playing at the fringes of a very lucrative and fast growing market, then government has to intervene and we have done this is a very purposeful and deliberate manner,” Johnson said.
“We have a vision to be the ICT hub for Africa – to make Nigeria the ‘go to’ place for innovation, skills, research and development, tech companies etc. The journey to this vision is as challenging as it is exciting and I hope that I have been able to ignite your interest to join us and support us in this endeavour.”