The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, on Monday said that over 40 million Nigerians could be employed if Information and Communications Technology tools and devices, software solutions, Information Technology outsourcing and the e-commerce sector were properly harnessed.
Shittu stated this at the official unveiling of Huawei’s Innovation and Experience Centre and the joint Huawei/UNILAG CSIC in Lagos, stressing that the ICT was already providing more employments than the oil and gas sector.
He urged Huawei Technologies to assist in boosting capacities of local ICT firms in the industry by sharing its expertise to enhance the ICT delivery and functionality in Nigeria.
On the part of the government efforts to unlock the ICT potential, the minister said that the Nigerian government and Huawei had signed a Memorandum of Understanding to accelerate the sector’s ecosystem.
He said there was also another MoU with Huawei, which was capable of creating over 2000 ICT training jobs for young Nigerians.
According to him, there is no doubt that Huawei has become a strategic partner to the Nigerian government in the ICT planning and development.
Shittu said, “I believe that you will continue to expand your contributions and training programmes in Nigeria. The country needs the best strategic partnership in ICT and only the best is good enough for Nigeria.”
He said, “This is an epoch making event for a number of reasons, but most importantly is the fact that the present government is easily the first government to come on stage leveraging the benefits of the digital revolution with strategic partnership with Huawei as a leading global supplier of ICT products, solutions and services.
“Therefore, I would like to use this opportunity to express my appreciation on behalf of the Federal Government to Huawei Technologies for collaborating with the ministry in the area of human and institutional capacity development.”
The Managing Director, Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Ltd., Mr. Frank Li, said, “Huawei is dedicated to investing in industry innovations that are driven by both customer needs and new technologies.
“Huawei will continuously adhere to its strategic focus, investment, and the relentless pursuit of strategic breakthrough to face all challenges together with its partners.”
He concluded by stating that continuous investment and resources would be put into the ICT innovation to drive the digital economy in Nigeria and in other African countries.
The Innovation and Experience Centre will also serve as a training platform to nurture more ICT talents, thus Huawei Technologies Nigeria Limited will sign a joint innovation MoU with UNILAG for this purpose, according to the company.
Meanwhile, the Consular General, Federal Republic of China in Lagos, Chao Xiaoliang, said Huawei was one of the Chinese companies that had grown rapidly in the last 40 years