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Shittu rallies diaspora support for Nigeria’s ICT development

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Babatunde Abiodun 

The Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu on Tuesday,  said the ministry will galvanize Nigerian businessmen and women in the Diaspora and their counterparts in the British business environment to invest in Nigeria’s growing Information Communication Technology (ICT).

Shittu said this while addressing the press on the proposed Nigerian ICT Investment Summit to be held in London, the United Kingdom being organized by the ‘Nigerian Diaspora Direct Investment Summit’ group.

He said this is necessary in view of the fact that the Nigerian ICT initiative is not a magic wand from government to revive the economy, rather, he said “it is a conscious effort by government, working with the Nigerian Diaspora Direct, private sector and all other stakeholders to forge a public-private partnership to develop scalable, replicable, interoperable and measurable solutions that will make our ICT more sustainable and smarter”.

Barr. Shittu said the summit is “an opportunity to identify the potential source of finance, technology and technical skills that could boost the promotion and simulation of enterprise and the creation of jobs in Nigeria.

“It was established to help Nigerians in the Diaspora connect and set up their businesses in Nigeria. It is aimed at mobilizing the very resourceful, but silent, business class of the Nigerian Diaspora who is keen to contribute to the development of Nigeria but has not been able to do so because of the lack of regulated opportunities, a properly structured approach and necessary information.

“It is pertinent to note again that a Summit of this magnitude cannot be organized by government alone but by a collective effort of all stakeholders”, he said.

He promised that the ministry will mobilize participation of its agencies and other MDAs and communication companies for the summit which will take place from April 27 and 28, 2018 in the United Kingdom.

Highlighting the summit, the convener, Mr. Bimbo Roberts Folayan said the Nigerian Diaspora Direct Investment Summit focus at providing a platform for hundreds of Nigerians in the United Kingdom and other British friends and investors who want to invest with government authorities and private sector organizations, who can provide them with the relevant information, incentives, guarantees and official assurances for a controlled business life in Nigeria.

He said the organization has held four different successful summits in the past, but the London summit which is the fifth in the series is targeted at the Nigerian Communications and Technology sector which sit at the heart of the development of the nation’s economy.

Through the summit, he said the organization is looking to partner with companies committed to the growth of Nigeria and the development of its people by providing a first-class commercial opportunity for them to share their work with business and community leaders in the diaspora.

Expected to speak at the summit are His Excellency George Adesola Oguntade, Nigerian High Commissioner to United Kingdom who will speak on ‘Opening the Doors for UK Business and Finance to Stimulate Growth in Nigeria’; Barrister Adebayo Shittu who will speak on ‘The Role of Technology in 21st Century Nigeria-A Platform for Growth’ and Mrs. Abike Dabiri Erewa, Senior Special Adviser to the President on Diaspora and Foreign Affairs, who will speak on ‘Engaging the Diaspora and Their Opportunity for Nigeria’.

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