FG plans national ICT park, seeks private sector participation.
The Federal Government has called for private-sector participation in the establishment of an Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Park in the country.
Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, who disclosed this in Lagos yesterday, at the Business Roundtable Stakeholders Engagement for Financing and Sustainability of the Proposed National ICT Park at the Abuja Technology Village (ATV), noted that the ICT and Telecommunications industry was key to the economy.
Shittu stated that the country, with its youthful population and as a consumer nation, the industry holds the key to national growth and development.
He stressed that ICT role in the transformation of societies into the knowledge-based economy could not be over-emphasized.
“In line with this, the Federal Government through the Ministry of Communications designed a programme to establish a National ICT Park to provide an enabling platform, where ICT knowledge can be acquired through appropriate initiatives.
“These include incubating technology ideas into viable startups, research, and development, as well as testing and certifications of ICT solutions,” he said.
Shittu, who stressed that necessary policies and strategies on the part of government have been concluded, said the roundtable was to get the private sector and global investors’ buy-in to the project.
He disclosed that a 6344sqm of land has been earmarked for the establishment of the park within the free trade zone owned and operated by the ATV.
He added that the project was part of the government’s preparation for the fourth Industrial Revolution, which, according to him, was predicted to happen globally soon.
Shittu further noted that establishment of the center would encourage investments in the ICT sector and complement the proposed ICT University, which would also produce the required manpower for Africa to effectively participate in the fourth Industrial Revolution.
Speaking from the private sector perspective, Chairman, SmartCity Plc, Ademola Aladekomo, noted that realizing the project may not be that easy because of the country’s present economic situation.
“Investors are scared of government because it is never consistent when it comes to policy implementation and continuity,” he stated.
Also speaking, Former Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Ernest Nduwke, noted that the move was strategic, stressing that innovation is critical to Nigeria’s prospect of playing big in the fourth Industrial Revolution.