Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Nigeria: Exploring ICT for wealth creation

The Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Dr. Hamadoun Touré, has described Nigeria as a better example of a developing nation using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for wealth creation.

Speaking as the special guest during the Nigeria’s day at the five-day event organised by the ITU annually which ended weekend at the Cairo International Convention and Exhibition Centre, in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, Dr. Toure said that given the growth witnessed in Nigeria in the past seven years within the ICT, it should serve as example for other developing economies, especially on the continent of Africa.

According to him, Nigeria has shown commitment in ICT, which has in turn transformed the regulation of the industry into predictability.

As said by him, predictable environment affords investors to forecast accurately thereby giving hope for the investing public.

He pointed out that no investor would like to go to an environment that is not profit friendly.

“People would not come if they are not assured of making profit,” he declared, stressing that two-third of the global workforce is in ICT industry.

He also advocated for wealth creation rather than the so-called poverty alleviation, saying that those who are interested in creating wealth should see Nigeria as their destination.

“So those who are interested in creating wealth should go to Nigeria,” he asserted.

Dr. Touré further reiterated the commitment of ITU in connecting the unconnected.

“ICT has to be the catalyst to bridge the digital divide,” he said, assuring Nigeria to keep up the good work in terms of creating enabling environment for investors to tap from.

“If you have regulatory bias come to ITU and we’re committed to close the digital divide,” he counselled.

Corroborating Touré, the Nigeria’s Charge De Affairs in Egypt, Mr. Adewunmi Azeez, assured foreign investors on the Federal Government’s determination to facilitate smooth environment for them.

Nigeria, he said, is a fertile land and needs to be exploited and indeed expecting those who know their onion to take this opportunity.

“Nigeria is a fertile land for investments,” Mr. Azeez joined by a Minister at the embassy, Mr. Ayuba Kewa to the occasion said.

The event has in attendance top government officials including the chairman, Board of Commissioners at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Alhaji Ahmed Joda, the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) NCC, Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, and chief executives of key public and private companies in Nigeria as well as telecom firms namely Etisalat Nigeria Limited, Mr. Saoud Al Shamsi, Celtel chief executive, Mr. Bayo Ligali and President, Nigeria Internet Registration Association (NiRA), Mr. Ndukwe Kalu, to name a few.

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