The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has called for increased trade volumes between Nigeria and India.Shittu noted that as more Indian companies are plying their trades in the country, Nigerians too should replicate same.
The Guardian gathered through the Telecom Equipment and Service Export Promotion Council (TEPC) of India that export from India to Nigeria has fluctuated in the last five years.
Specifically, Indian exports between 2014-15 was $26.5 million; 2015-16, $15.6 million; 2016-17, $10. 4 million and in 2017-18, $19.8 million.
Speaking at the opening of the two-day Indo-Africa ICT Expo 2018 in Lagos, yesterday, the communication minister believes that there should be a better business collaboration between the two countries.
Shittu noted that the collaboration between Nigeria and India, through the platform of the Indo-Africa ICT Expo, would enhance digital transformation that would boost the Nigerian economy.He said the platform was an opportunity for Nigeria to leverage on the Indian technology to boost economic development in the country.
The minister used the opportunity to call on the private sector, particularly those whose businesses are driven by Information and Communications Technology (ICT), to take full opportunity of the Indo-Africa ICT Expo.
According to him, "It is not enough for Nigerian businesses to be mere marketers of ICT products and services. They must rather collaborate with the right group to establish ICT platforms and factories that will promote skills training and employment opportunities in the country. Foreign ICT companies that want to do business in Nigeria must be prepared to establish ICT factories in Nigeria."
The High Commissioner of India in Nigeria, B.N Reddy, said the focus of the Indian government is to collaborate with the Nigerian government to scale up ICT skills in Nigeria.
This, he said, would require networking at various levels of government, industries and the academia.Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Communications, Government of India, Amit Yadav, restated the commitment of Indian government to promote ICT development in Nigeria.
"Indian government is committed to develop the Nigerian ICT market. India is vast in technology development with deep broadband penetration across India. Our National Broadband Policy is focused on inclusive broadband growth for the country. About 6.5 per cent of out GDP contribution is coming from the Indian ICT sector and we can replicate all these in Nigeria," Yadav said.
The Indian Minister of Communications, Shri Manoj Sinha, who spoke through live broadcast, said the collaboration between India and Nigeria remained key to the Indian government in the area of ICT development. He said the choice of Lagos for the event was in recognition of the vast potential that exists in Nigeria, and also of its importance as a gateway to the West Africa and other parts of Africa.
Shittu, who invited more than 100 government and industry stakeholders from within Nigeria to attend the forum, said the Nigerian Government, in collaboration with the India Government, would forge closer relationship in order to accelerate ICT growth in the country as well as boost the two countries' economies.