By Abbas Jimoh and Victoria Onehi
The Federal Government has said it would build a $1bn Information Communication and Technology (ICT) company in the country to boost indigenous technology in Africa, expected to be the first on the Continent.
The Acting President Yemi Osinbajo said this Tuesday in Abuja at the 2017 Digital Africa Conference and Exhibition themed "The Fourth Industrial Revolution: Getting Africa Ready".
"I can gladly state that Nigeria, in the near future will no more be a dumping ground for ICT products and services and the government is committed to the establishment of the Africa's first $1bn ICT company here in Nigeria," Osinbajo, represented by the Minister of Communications Barrister Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu, said.
He said the government is committed to encouraging the growth of indigenous ICT companies to world standards by proving policies that will help them thrive.
He said, "With the mantra of change, the Nigerian political milieu will be recalibrated for the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. So that both the executive and legislative will be more responsive and responsible in addressing the major global challenges staring us in the face."
The Minister of Communication represented by the permanent secretary in the ministry, Sunday Echono, said the government was preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution predicted to happen globally in the very near future.
He said the government has conceived a National ICT Park and Exhibition Centre in the Federal Capital Territory.
"The establishment of the centre will encourage investment in ICT sector and complement the proposed University of ICT which will also produce required skilled manpower for Africa to partake in inevitable Fourth Industrial Revolution," he said.
Earlier Chairman Digital Africa Global Consult Limited Dr Evan Woherem, said the gathering was to move Africa from its current technological position forward.
Meanwhile the Minister of Science and Technology Dr Christopher Ogbonnaya Onu said the ministry is working at a knowledge based economy and not just resource based.
The minister said this while receiving the Director of Agence Francerse De Development (AFD) Oliver Delefosso in his office yesterday saying, "We want to move our nation from resource-based to knowledge-based and this involves ICT,"
Earlier the director of AFD Oliver Delefosso said the AFD can help build digital governance and that the agence gives loans and grant to public and the private sector to execute projects.