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FG plans waiver for local ICT product manufacturers

As India earmarks $10bn for Indo-Africa trade

By Prince Osuagwu

lagos—The Federal government yesterday said it will stop, forthwith, the importation of any product which has local manufacturers with verifiable interest and capacity.

The gesture, according to government, is to protect those local manufacturers and give them market edge against their foreign counterparts.

The policy comes on the heels of Indian government doling out a whopping $10 billion for Indo-Africa trading.

Indo-Africa is a renewed bilateral relationship between Indian government and that of Nigeria and other African countries, particularly in areas of Information and Communications Technology ICT development.

These were fall outs of Indo Africa ICT summit which held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos, yesterday.

The event which had Ministers of Communications of Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda in attendance, saw several policy statements which clearly indicate the hunger to use Foreign Direct Investments, FDIs to develop the African ICT ecosystem.

Nigeria’s minister of Communications, Barr Adebayo Shittu, who at the event, declared government’s willingness to see more of local manufacturers and assemblers of ICT products in Nigeria, said “ right here now, any company that shows verifiable evidence of interest and capacity to produce any product or even assemble them here in Nigeria, we will stop importation of such products, to encourage them”

Shittu reminded the gathering that Nigeria’s commitment towards ICT innovations has made the country well known in the tech space.

He said: “Today, we have over 145 million mobile subscribers, representing a penetration of 85.5 per cent, while Internet penetration rate stands at about 70 per cent. More undersea fiber optic cables are landing and increasing our international connectivity to other regions, resulting in better, reliable and fairly affordable broadband connectivity. These achievements are attributable to collaboration between the public, the private sector and international stakeholders.”

“Nigerian businesses will no doubt tap into reservoir of knowledge among their Indian counterparts and develop technology based solutions for the Nigerian, African and even the global market.  There are numerous opportunities for partnerships between both public and private sector of Nigeria and India. I implore Indian investors to explore areas to further enhance the lives of our people through technology”he added

He however revealed that India has already spent over $4bn in the Nigerian market just as Nigeria has also requested that the Indian government finance about 1000 solar based mast in the rural areas of Nigeria to enhance the country’s quest for total telecom inclusion.

Earlier in his opening remarks, Co-Chairman, TEPC and CEO, Tejas Networks, Mr. Sanjay Nayak, revealed that the Indian government has earmarked about $10bn for Indo Africa trade, saying that India has some trusted partners across the African continent because the country has the right mix of technological solutions to drive economic developments of any developing nation.







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