The potentials of young minds have been undermined for a long time, talents go to waste, yet the country is very viable for businesses of all sorts. In fact, it’s a known fact that if a foreign investor wants to try out a new soil for business, Nigeria is the place. No wonder, many enterprises have thrived for years. The rules pertaining to entry and operations are very flexible and the local markets are quite efficient. However, with the instability in exchange rates and insecurity challenges that have permeated the political sector, many investors have taken a walk. In this regard, Dr. Isa Pantami has beckoned on the global community to consider Nigeria a viable economy for investment.
The delegation was led by Director-General of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Isa Pantami at the Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX) Technology Week in Dubai. In his speech, he reiterated that the country has great potentials for ICT investments. This spurred a positive reaction from investors from the United States of America, India, Germany, and Norway.
The Director-General affirmed that the administrations have created an enabling business atmosphere such as improved amenities, investment promotions and other measures to make investments worthwhile. On the issue of security and protection of lives and properties, he clarified the subject that the problem of insecurity has been tackled significantly and existing investors have been going about their business fairly.
Although he didn’t explicate the challenges with macroeconomic stability and the general health of the banking system. These issues are aching problems which have worsened in the Buhari-led administration. You will recall that Etisalat, not 9mobile suffered financial bankruptcy due to the instability in exchange rates and the poor state of health of the foreign banking system.
Whatever the case may be, Nigeria remains the most viable, in terms of interest rates and returns on investments. Not only these; it will be a win-win scenario because, obviously, Nigeria’s GDP will experience a significant boost, thereby creating room for stabilizing the country’s economy.
To make investments viable, the country hopes to increase the broadband penetration in Nigeria by 30% in 2018. In retrospect, the country has established a comprehensive National Broadband Plan. Dr. Pantami said:
We see a good potential for growth in the sector and we are creating an environment that can significantly increase the sector’s contribution to the nation’s GDP. As such, this is a good time to invest in our ICT sector and we invite you to partner with us in the season of growth.
Accordingly, there is an office established by NITDA for the sole purpose of ICT innovation and Entrepreneurship which supports talented Nigerians and start-ups in the ICT sector, which have developed immensely at a significant pace. One of such start-ups who has benefitted is Genie Games who ‘won the second position at the keenly contested Start-up movement competition at GITEX 2016’.
Another champ who also brought pride to the country is the Nigerian-born entrepreneur who sold HopStop, an online city transit App to apple for $1b. Also, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook boss, visited Nigeria last year the ICT talents in the country and in fact, supported Andela, a Nigerian software company with a whopping $24m. Konga, a Nigerian e-commerce store isn’t left out of the picture. It attracted over $65m funding in 2014. It’s also not surprising to note that out of $366.8m contributed by African start-ups, Nigerian start-ups contributed the largest share of $109.4m.
The DG concluded, that the local markets are efficient enough to provide more than 50% percent of production needs to reduce the cost of doing business, as well as a tax-friendly policy on profits to support the investors.