WITH about eight years left for Nigeria to meet the objectives of Vision 20:2020 goals, the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, has said that the information and communications technology (ICT) sector would require about N26.6 billion investment to contribute meaningfully to the economic objectives of the policy.
Omobola, who tied more foreign direct investments to Nigeria to the private sector growth, said from survey, other major sectors including oil and gas, agriculture, power, transport, would require N571.2 billion, N745.24 billion, N880.9 billion, N2.2 trillion respectively to achieve the Vision 20:2020 goals.
According to her, consistent sectoral policies and demonstrable political will to execute, particularly where investments have long gestation periods, such as infrastructure would be the catalyst for growth.
The minister stated these at the weekend while presenting a paper titled: “Attracting Foreign Direct Investments through Global Partnership” at the 17th Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja.
Omobola noted that attracting FDIs and building global partnerships required the country to, among other things, create opportunities in the market; stabilise the government; be consistent in policy making; and ensure certainty of regulatory environment.
According to her, Nigeria’s competitive strength lies in the existence of a large and attractive domestic market with high demand for basic (and public) goods and services.
“Significant improvement is required in the quality of education and the quality of entrants into the workforce, coupled with the ability to innovate, with significant improvements required in harnessing capacities, especially university-industry collaborations and government’s adoption of advanced technological products”, she said.
Faulting the 2010-2011 Global Competitiveness Index, which ranked South Africa and Egypt ahead of Nigeria, the minister said specifically, the country’s oil and gas sector would need to maximise Nigeria’s hydrocarbon resources; power must be adequate and affordable and there must be sustainable technology sector that could meet the needs of the country.
Others are that Nigeria must develop a world-class infrastructure that would support all other sectors of the economy, particularly the productive sector, with the ICT sector developed to drive and expand national production and soft sectors, including governance, public services, media and others.
By Adeyemi Adepetun, reporting from Calabar