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Vice president, Prof Yemi

FG plans to reply Microsoft with $1bn ICT Company to boost local technology

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After days of official silence on the image damaging statement issued by Microsoft Corp on why it was dropping its earlier plan to seat a $30bn twin data centre in Nigeria for South Africa, the federal government has revealed its readiness to build a one billion dollar ICT company to boost indigenous technology.

Business Hilights recalls that Microsoft had issued a statement on the sudden relocation, saying the switch to South Africa is informed by lack of infrastructure and needed manpower to manage the centres on delivery.

The Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo while declaring open the 2017 Digital Africa Conference and Exhibition tagged: ‘the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Getting Africa Ready’, dropped the hint, saying such a mega investment will make Nigeria cease being a dumping ground for ICT products and services.

Represented by the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, he said “The Nigerian government is committed to encourage the growth of indigenous ICT companies to world standards by proving policies that will help them thrive”.

“With the mantra of change, the Nigerian political milieu will be recalibrated for the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The executive and legislative will be more responsive and responsible in addressing the major global challenges staring us in the face which include infrastructure band manpower development.

Though Osinbajo was silent on the sources of funding for the deal, the Minister of Communication, represented by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Sunday Echono, on his part said the government was preparing for the Fourth Industrial Revolution predicted to happen globally in the very near future.

He noted that the Federal Government has conceived a National ICT Park and Exhibition Centre in the Federal Capital Territory.

Analysts who barred their minds on the relocation of the Microsoft data centre regretted the development and blamed the government for playing politics with the training of ICT manpower over the years and lack of political will to deliver essential investment enabling infrastructures including power, flexible tax regime and ease of doing business.


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