The Director General/CEO of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, CCIE woos global investors at this year’s London Tech Week. The event, scheduled ending today Friday 16th June, 2023, started on Monday 12th June, 2023 at the Queen Elizabeth II International Conference Centre, Westminster, London, United Kingdom as well as other venues across the City of London.
The DG/CEO, represented by Dr Usman Gambo Abdullahi, Director, Information Technology Infrastructure Solutions, coordinated a roundtable discussion on “How to Build a Viable Tech Ecosystem Between United Kingdom and Emerging Markets”. He used the opportunity to inform those in attendance various of investment opportunities in Nigeria’s digital economy sector.
Inuwa informed that Nigeria is Africa’s largest economy with the sixth largest population in the world, and an excellent investment destination. That Africa has emerged as a continent of immense opportunities and innovation in recent years. With a rapidly growing population, rising middle class, and increasing internet penetration rates on the continent, Africa presents a unique proposition for technological advancement and investment. Furthermore, that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement further enhances Africa’s appeal as a business destination, with the potential to create the largest free trade area in the world.
The DG further informed that Nigeria is part of MINT (Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Turkey) countries, labelled as emerging markets with the potential to realise rapid economic growth. That Nigeria has the largest economy and population in Africa. It is a major player in the tech space, home to five out of Africa’s seven unicorns and has attracted about US$4.4 billion in FDI in the past four years – demonstrating Nigeria’s potential to create world-class tech solutions. That the Nigerian startup ecosystem attracted an estimated US$1.2 billion, representing about 36% of total funding to African startups in 2022.
Additionally, the DG highlighted that series of reforms aimed at creating a business-friendly environment as key attractions to investors. These include providing tax-free incentives, free fiscal duty for imported goods, machinery and equipment, exemption from levies, the opportunity for foreigners wholly own enterprises and being exempted from expatriate quota, as well as simplifying regulations and making it easier for businesses to start and operate. Some of these policies include the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy for a Digital Nigeria, the Nigeria Startup Act and the ongoing plans to kick-start its full implementation, which will further strengthen the ecosystem and create an enabling environment for the development and growth of Startups, the National Digital Talent Strategy which aims to position Nigeria as one of the largest tech talent factory in the world, the National Blockchain Policy developed to help Nigeria’s transition into the digital economy by using Blockchain technology in boosting innovation, improving public services, creating job opportunities, reducing corruption and driving economic growth, the National Blockchain Adoption Strategy which aims to harness a $1.76 Trillion Global Economy by 2030, driving sector-wide adoption, and generating 250,000 Jobs by 2024, the National Outsourcing Strategy implementation aimed at creating about 5 Million jobs by 2027, increase revenue, and attract FDI through a thriving global outsourcing industry, the National Data Strategy which aims at creating a Data Analytics industry, drive security and economic growth with a ₦20 trillion Data Market by 2025, and several other business-enabling initiatives under the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) such as online business registration, online visa processing and visa on arrival are aimed at attracting investments and other business opportunities.
The NITDA Boss further reiterated that these and many other government polices make Nigeria a strategic gateway for investment in Africa. He therefore encouraged those in attendance to look the way of Nigeria in their investment plans.
Those that attended the roundtable include delegates and investors from Malaysia, Australia, Austria, India, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Thailand, Vietnam, Germany, Argentina, Turkey, United States of America and United Kingdom – the host country.