The federal government has challenged local industrialists to learn to take business risks in the ICT savvy Nigerian youths.
The minister of Communications, Dr. Adebayo Shittu threw the challenge during the visit of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Committee on Specialized Exhibition led by its Chairman Engr. Leye Kupoloye on forthcoming ICT Expo in Lagos at the Ministry’s Headquarters, Abuja. He said, ”the private sector has a lot of money wasting away in the banks and to bring them out and take business risks is what our people would not do. This is one area I believe we have to do a rethink,” and urged them local industrialists to invest in young ICT savvy Nigerians for the development of their innovative ideas in the country. The Minister pointed out that it is necessary for LCCI to encourage local industrialists and entrepreneurs to support the youths that possess innovative ideas on ICT for them to grow and develop the country.
“We should not only expect investment from foreigners rather our local industrialists and entrepreneurs should also be ready to invest in the youths that have innovative ideas to develop. Enough of being on the sideline in the area of innovation, research and development. That is the message I want you to take to your members.” The Minister reiterated the need for the local industrialist to be active in the ICT sector to compete with foreigners coming to buy innovative ideas from ICT savvy young Nigerians and turn it into viable products and resell to Nigeria at exorbitant prices. He pointed out that young Nigerians sponsored by the government through National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) to oversee Expo have proved their mettle in ICT innovations and they need to be supported by our local industrialists. Shittu urged Nigerian investors to leave the stage of buying and selling and engage in real production that would bring greater growth and development to the country. He said, “In our country, we have a market already in our population and the whole Africa is part of our market waiting for our products to be patronized.”
He advised LCCI to have syndicated group that would be committed to discovering new talent. He noted that it is very important to have a unit to discover new talent and mentor them to grow.
The Minister assured LCCI of the Ministry’s participation and support for the ICT Expo in Lagos and urged members of the chamber to key in into the ICT park initiative of the Ministry adding that his Ministry was willing to partner any good initiatives that would deepen ICT penetration in the country. Earlier, the Chairman, Specialized Exhibition Committee of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Engr. Leye Kupoloye said that they were in the ministry to seek for the participation and support of the ministry in the forthcoming ICT Expo in Lagos. He said ministry of communications has been doing a good job and urged the minister to continue adding that ICT is a creator of happiness to people and a lot of inflow of money going into the sector where knowledge and technology meet to create wealth.