The Minister of Communications, Dr Isa Pantami, has tasked Nigerians participating in the on-going Gulf Information Technology Exhibition GITEX to ensure they domesticate technology ideas and add value to Nigeria\s ICT sector to build the country’s economy.
Pantami said this on Sunday while he led the Nigerian delegation to GITEX, a global technology exhibition that brings together over 200,000 trade visitors from over 145 countries of the world to share trends of ICT and ways of advancing technology innovations.
Nigeria’s participation in GITEX which is spearheaded by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) is a week long programme holding from Oct.6 to Oct. 10.
The minister said that Nigeria’s participating was a platform for the country to showcase its local innovations, ICT potential, learn advancing technology from other exhibitors, network and domesticate ideas to boost the ICT sector.
“Our mission is to showcase talent, potential, network with other innovators and learn from them.
“We also hope to showcase our local content, solicit for investors to our innovations, look out for technology transfer because you cannot undermine the capacity of those you wish to learn from.
“We must make sure there is value for money in our participation to add value to the ICT sector,” Pantami said.
He further said that as stakeholders in the industry, the success of the sector should be a collaborative effort.
The minister added that there was a need for exploration of technology advancement and not exploitation of the system.
Pantami said that ICT’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country had surpassed that of oil which made it important to harness the benefits of ICT.
The Director-General of NITDA, Mr Kashifu Inuwa, said the agency was making conscious effort toward diversifying the country’s economy through ICT, hence its participation in the 39th GITEX.
Inuwa said the exhibition will create platforms for Nigeria to learn technology trends from other innovators and domesticate the ideas locally.
Nigeria’s Ambassador to UAE, Mr Mohammed Rimi, said Nigeria needed to make serious effort in promoting digital growth ,adding that the government of Dubai was ready to support the country.
Rimi recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari visited UAE in April to discuss possible ways of digital growth, especially through deploying Artificial Intelligence.
He urged the delegation to ensure that the outcome of the meeting was implemented to benefit the country’s ICT industry and improve the lives of citizens.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, the Executive Vice Chairman of Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), said the commission was committed to deploy critical infrastructure to the development of ICT.
“Presently, Nigeria has been able to achieve 35 per cent broadband penetration and granting internet access and speed to close to 70 million citizens.
“It is required of the commission to boost the penetration to 127 per cent soon on its new broadband plan and we are committed to it to grant the rest of Nigerians internet access,” he said.
The Managing Director, Galaxy Backbone Limited, Mr Yusuf Kazaure, reiterated that ICT projects development in the country could not be done in silos but required collaborative effort and global exposure.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria Postal Service, Nigeria Communication Satellite Limited, Nigeria Petroleum Exchange Commission, Petroleum Equalisation Fund Management Board are some agencies representing the country at GITEX. (NAN)