16 January 2013

Nigeria: We Need Involvement of Banks, Specialized Fund for ICT - Seriki

The Information and Communication Technology (ICT) operators have called on the Federal Government to create a special fund that will have a single lending rate for the ICT sector.

The Managing Director, Omatek Ventures Plc and President of Information Technology Association of Nigeria (ITAN) Engr. (Mrs.) Florence Seriki, told newsmen on Monday that the sector has the capacity to create jobs if government can pattern the private sector and involve the banks to provide single interest rate for the ICT sector that has the potentials to drive the economy.

According to her, "Funding manufacturers is a totally different thing from funding traders or sellers. The banks need to be involved to know the kind of business we do. It is a long term projects that will require a single lending rate. We commend the Bank of Industry (BOI) who later knew why we needed huge fund with lower interest rate in our sector. The business of ICT requires volume and that is why we need funds. We want to see the ICT to drive the economy of Nigeria.

She further tasked the Federal Government to revive the local content policy in virtually all the sectors of the economy, saying there should be tolerance of Nigerians in local content and policy. She commended the Minister of Communication Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson for listening to the plight of operators in the ICT sectors.

According to her, " Our parley with the minister in recent time will yield fruits. We want to continue to brainstorm with the government where we can share experience and allow local manufacturers to produce the things we need in Nigeria. This will go a long way in providing jobs and also meeting the vision 2020 target of the Federal Government.

While commenting on Omatek Ventures' effort to improve its bottom line, Seriki, said, " We have restructured and overhauled the company and hope that this year our shareholders will reap from their investment. We have continued our e- learning scheme, consumer scheme, civil service scheme, National Identity scheme. We have put a new face to the e-learning scheme as we want to change with time. Gone are the days that the student will use lanterns and candle to read. For the consumer scheme, it slowed down when the banking crisis started but right now we intend to revive it."

She further stated that Omatek intend to improve on its distribution channel. "We want to engage more sellers from all the states. We have more volume, as turnover is very critical to our service." Omatek boss noted.

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