EXECUTIVE NOTES – An auspicious time to invest in Nigeria’s thriving ICT sector

Share this story

By Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), PhD, FBCS

Director-General/CEO, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA)

 

“Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment [has] published the list of 27 new industries eligible to enjoy the pioneer status incentive in Nigeria. Companies investing in these sectors receive tax holidays for three to five years. Some of the sectors include E-commerce services, Business Process Outsourcing and Software development and publishing. You are invited to invest in the sectors.”

 

Pantami: Nigeria has one of largest economies in Africa which, according to the World Bank, has a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) valued at $405 billion USD.
Pantami: Nigeria has one of largest economies in Africa which, according to the World Bank, has a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) valued at $405 billion USD.

 

All Protocols duly observed.

May Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon you!

I am very delighted to welcome this August audience to this very important Forum. Let me start by expressing my profound gratitude to the Management Team of the Dubai World Trade Centre for considering us to be a worthy partner for the coordination of this event.

The Africa Investment Forum (AIF) is a gathering that provides a unique platform for investors and African stakeholders to focus on the prospects for investment in the continent’s ICT sector. Today, I have the singular honour of discussing the invest climate and vast investment opportunities in Nigeria’s thriving ICT sector.

Nigeria is strategically located between West and Central Africa, giving investors easy access to close to 180 million Nigerians and an additional 200 million West Africans, as well as 150 million Africans in Central Africa. We also have one of the largest economies in Africa which, according to the World Bank, has a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) valued at $405billion USD.

“This [Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council] has already completed 31 reforms that make it easier to invest in Nigeria. Our investors can now obtain a visa-on-arrival and have a seamless and speedy process of registering their business in Nigeria.”

Nigeria is the 6th largest producer of crude oil and, over the years, we have relied heavily on proceeds from the oil sector. However, the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has placed a lot on emphasis on growing the non-oil sector. This focus is paying off- According to the Nigerian National Bureau for Statistics (NBS), the contribution of the non-oil sector to the real GDP has increased from 89.98% in the 1st Quarter of 2016 to 91.11% in the 2nd Quarter of 2017. The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector contributed 11.27% to the total nominal GDP in the 2nd Quarter of 2017.

Read: http://itedgenews.ng/2017/09/29/pantami-nitda-now-knowledge-driven-agency/

We see a good potential for growth in the sector and we are creating an environment that can significantly increase the sector’s contribution to the nation’s GDP. As such, this is a good time to invest in our ICT sector and we invite you to partner with us in this season of growth.

“The Ikeja Computer Village is the largest technology market cluster in West Africa and is estimated to contribute about $2billion to Nigeria’s economy annually. We currently have 7 local OEMs but they can only meet about 20% of the local demand for computer hardware.”

At the moment, many developed countries of the world are experiencing an ageing problem with proportion of the citizens aged over 60 years rapidly increasing over the last few years. For example, a 2015 United Nations Report projected that by 2030, the population of people aged 60 years and over in upper-middle-income countries will be 545 million, marking a 70% increase in the 2015 figures.

In Nigeria we do not have an ageing problem, rather we have a youthful advantage- young people constitute about 65% of the Nigerian population! Many of these young people are ICT savvy and this, coupled with the massive expansion in the nation’s educational sector, provides a good workforce for potential investors.

 

Read: http://itedgenews.ng/2017/06/23/pantami-nitdas-boss-says-agency-will-enhance-value-local-content-policy/

 

NITDA has an Office for ICT Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIIE) that is focused on identifying and supporting promising Nigerian startups in the ICT space. The activities of the OIIE have enabled the ICT startup innovation ecosystem in Nigeria to grow at a remarkable pace. One of our startups- Genie Games- won the 2nd position at the keenly contested Startup Movement Competition at GITEX 2016.

 

“The President recently established the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PBEC) to further improve the investment climate in the country and we are implementing an Executive Order aimed at increasing the ease of doing business in Nigeria.”

 

Many Nigerian startups have also won plaudits from home and abroad. For example, HopStop, an online city transit App acquired by Apple for a whopping $1billion, was owned by a Nigerian-born Entrepreneur. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, visited Nigeria last year and had very complimentary things to say about the quality of ICT talent in the country. His foundation also provided $24million funding for Andella, a Nigerian company focused on building World-Class Software Development Teams.

 

Konga.com, a Nigerian e-commerce company, attracted over $65million funding in 2014. Also, out of a record-breaking total of $366.8 million raised by African startups in 2016, investments in Nigerian startups had the largest share of $109.4 million. These investment stories underscore the viability of the Nigerian startups and the capacity of Nigerians to conceive ingenious ideas. We invite you, our potential investors, to take advantage of this massive talent pool as you invest in Nigeria.

 

Broadband access is important to economic growth and, according to independent studies cited by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), countries can increase efficiency and have up to 1.38% growth in per-capita income by increasing broadband penetration by 10%. We realize this in Nigeria and have developed a comprehensive National Broadband Plan (NBP). A key goal of the plan is to increase the broadband penetration in Nigeria to 30% by 2018, up from about 6% in 2013. The efforts are already yielding positive results and the ITU Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development attests to this as they confirmed that we attained a broadband penetration level of 20.95% in September 2016.

“The contribution of the non-oil sector to the real GDP has increased from 89.98% in the 1st Quarter of 2016 to 91.11% in the 2nd Quarter of 2017. The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector contributed 11.27% to the total nominal GDP in the 2nd Quarter of 2017.”

The government has developed specific ICT policies to attract and retain investment. At NITDA we are implementing an Action Plan that is aimed at transforming Nigeria into a knowledge-based society. The 7 key pillars of our Action Plan are IT Regulation, Capacity Building, Digital Inclusion, Digital Job Creation, Government Digital Service Promotion, Local Content Development & promotion and Cybersecurity. We are open to investment in any of these areas. The business environment is Nigeria is conducive and Nigerians are very hospitable people.

Read: http://itedgenews.ng/2017/05/17/the-pantami-agenda-for-local-content-development-capacity-building/

Our President recently established the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PBEC) to further improve the investment climate in the country and we are implementing an Executive Order aimed at increasing the ease of doing business in Nigeria. This Council has already completed 31 reforms that make it easier to invest in Nigeria. Our investors can now obtain a visa-on-arrival and have a seamless and speedy process of registering their business in Nigeria. This administration has also placed a lot of emphasis on transparency and accountability. Nigeria is an active member of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) – a global body that promotes transparency, citizen engagement, and anti-corruption. We have also produced a Nigerian OGP National Action Plan (2017 – 2019).

Pantami: The government has developed specific ICT policies to attract and retain investment. At NITDA we are implementing an Action Plan that is aimed at transforming Nigeria into a knowledge-based society.
Pantami: The government has developed specific ICT policies to attract and retain investment. At NITDA we are implementing an Action Plan that is aimed at transforming Nigeria into a knowledge-based society.

In August 2017, Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment (FMITI) published the list of 27 new industries eligible to enjoy the pioneer status incentive in Nigeria. Companies investing in these sectors receive tax holidays for three to five years. Some of the sectors include E-commerce services, Business Process Outsourcing and Software development and publishing. You are invited to invest in the sectors.

“The OIIE have enabled the ICT startup innovation ecosystem in Nigeria to grow at a remarkable pace. One of our startups- Genie Games- won the 2nd position at the keenly contested Startup Movement Competition at GITEX 2016.”

We also have a good investment opportunity in the hardware sector. The computer hardware industry has seen a lot of investment from Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). The Ikeja Computer Village is the largest technology market cluster in West Africa and is estimated to contribute about $2billion to Nigeria’s economy annually. We currently have 7 local OEMs but they can only meet about 20% of the local demand for computer hardware. We are happy to facilitate the establishment of world class Original Design Manufacturing (ODM) factories in Nigeria to guarantee quality components assembly locally. This is another important area that we seek partnerships and investments.

Nigeria’s ICT sector has a great potential and this is the right time to invest! I invite you all to take advantage of this mutually beneficial opportunity to invest in one of Africa’s fastest growing ICT sectors. With these few words I wish to thank you all for attending this Africa Investment Forum and we look forward to partnering with you.

Dr Isa Ali Ibrahim (Pantami), DG of NITDA,  made this lead presentation at the Africa Investment Forum (AIF),  part of the headline-programmes of GITEX 2017 organised by the NITDA and the Dubai World Trade Centre  (DWTC). The AIF held Tuesday, 10 October 2017 inside the Conference Hall @ Gitex 2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Share this story

You May Also Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *