Nigerian government and the Stunted growth of its ICT industry
Yes, the elections are here again and the political tension in Nigeria is high. Four years ago we elected some politicians to guide us towards a better future. The 4-year tenure is over and it’s time for us to elect new leaders who will lead us towards a great future. The aspiring leaders keep making promises on Agriculture, infrastructure and education, they always manage to ignore Information and Communications Technology. Since the elections are really close by, I will like to talk about what we in the ICT industry want. In the next four years whether GEJ or GMB we need an improvement in the ICT sector.
From my findings, it looks like the ICT industry has done more for the Government that the Government does for it; the economy has advanced more in the past 10 years as a result of ICT, especially the Banking and Telecommunications sector. I was shocked when I searched on Google for “What government can do for technology” only to get more results answering “What technology can do for government”. Here in Nigeria our government has not been able to benefit much from ICT and the reason is not far fetched from points to be discussed in this post. I have listed a few things that the government can do to support us.
Government should use and support Nigerian Technology: The quickest way to grow an industry is if the government patronises the industry. Take a good look at China, South Korea and Japan, those guys are causing chaos positively in the ICT world. Government is seen as the biggest spenders and their interest to spend in a sector always results in investment and growth of the sector. So many of our National ICT projects are done outside Nigeria and that has resulted in the poor growth of the ICT sector. An example is the National ID Card project. Even with the huge number of cards to be produced, the project was contracted to a company outside the shores of Nigeria. Our Government could have used this opportunity to promote our indigenous companies.
Provide or Finance ICT hubs around the country: I must say i give my respects to CcHub Nigeria for their contribution to ICT in Nigeria. But many more hubs are needed all over the country. This can be achieved by Government providing soft loans and direct investment. Hubs will help provide electricity and internet to youths interested in ICT at affordable rates. The hubs also provide training, networking and financing to interested youths.
Redesign our Nigeria’s Official
Well, i hope i said it well for ICT sector. I hope the elected officials get to read this post. If you feel i left something out, please add a comment so our government can know.