The Federal Government has advised young entrepreneurs to take advantage of opportunities that the Information and Communication Technology sector offers to become self-reliant. The Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, gave this advice during the 9th edition of the LEAD Project Africa awards.
At the event organized to reward innovators of excellent ideas, the minister explained that the current administration had invested heavily in the development of the ICT parks, innovation hubs and centres where young minds could continue to innovate under mentorship.
According to him, experts have proved that increasing investment in the ICT sector had a tremendous multiplier effect on a country’s Gross Domestic Product. He noted that any country desirous of economic transformation and development must focus on agriculture and the ICT sectors.
“Agriculture relies heavily on the ICT to be very successful. Therefore, the most critical factor for the economic advancement of Nigeria is the optimization of the ICT resources and deployment to engender rapid economic development,” he stated.
The minister pointed out that the contribution of the ICT sector to the nation’s GDP had risen from less than five per cent to about 13 per cent in the last decade, adding that development in the sector was largely driven by private initiatives.
Also speaking at the event, the International Coordinator, LEAD Project Africa, Paul Peters, said the project was established by a Public-Private Partnership to position corporate Africa, reward innovators of excellent ideas and solve the challenges facing enterprise in Africa.
“In the midst of economic challenges, the corporate Nigerian brands were able to come out of recession and brace themselves to create value. We are also using the LEAD Project to ignite the spirit of enterprise in Africa focusing on the youth,” he said.