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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nigeria has high growth potential in convergence services - Johnson

Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, has said that Nigerian Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry has high growth potential with converged services.

She made this disclosure at a one-day Stakeholders roundtable hosted by her ministry in Lagos, at the weekend.

Mrs. Johnson listed the converged services expected to drive this high growth through Value Added Services (VAS), device sales and distribution, access provision, internet service provision, fixed wire-line operation.

Others, she outlined are in the equipment  sales and distribution sub-sector, support services, call centre operations, software maintenance and support as well as software development.

In the mobile network operation, Mrs. Johnson foresaw that satellite operators would have some good chunk after the mobile operators, followed by the growth from the fixed wireless operators in addition to infrastructure services.

On the software sales and distribution sub-sector of the nation’s ICT industry, the minister noted that there are substantial potential growth expected in the software installation and customisation, while the major growth would be witnessed in the software development and software maintenance and support.

Equally, Mrs. Johnson said that business process outsourcing (BPO) as well as research and development may not witness much growth potential as they are bound to have low growth in the current dispensation.

However, on the VAS subsector, she said that converged services led by the trio of data, voice and multi-media in addition to transaction services and training and education stands more better growth chances.

Mrs. Johnson further said that the nation’s ICT industry has the capacity to generate an estimated 1.3 million jobs industry-wide.

Although most of the jobs to be created in the industry for the expected growth, she said, have potentials to demand largely specialized skills with some few jobs requiring little or no specialized skills.

According to her, government’s policy direction and interventions that requires immediate priorities including harmonization of the various disparate policies that currently govern the ICT sector and development of a National ICT Policy.

The acceleration of the roll-out of broadband infrastructure, namely in securing critical resources and essential facilities, Mrs. Johnson said is another priority zone for her ministry, while she is not forgetting the need to increase online presence of Nigerian businesses and institutions through collaborations cum partnerships.

Additionally, her ministry would pay urgent attention to the articulation of eGovernment and mGovernment requirements, whereas creating an ICT Cadre in all Ministries to ensure quality and value driven ICT services, while strengthening agencies and parastatals under the supervision of the Ministry.

Remmy Nweke

ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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