In a continuous bid to diversify the nation’s economy, Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has called for private sector collaboration with the Government to boost the nation’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) which currently provides more employment and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) than the oil and gas sector.

The Minister made the call at the official unveiling of the Huawei’s Innovation and Experience Centre and joint Huawei/Unilag Openlab in Lagos and urged the firm to share its expertise with local ICT firms to further boost capacity in the industry.

Industry analysts, according to the minister, have suggested that the ICT tools and devices, software solutions, IT outsourcing and the e-commerce sector if well channelled and nurtured could employ over 40million Nigerians and contribute billions of dollars to the economy.

He revealed that it is in order to unlock potentials in the ICT that Nigerian government and Huawei signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to accelerate the sector’s ecosystem.

In addition, he said there is another MoU with Huawei capable of creating over 2000 ICT training jobs to young Nigerians.

“There is no doubt that you have become a strategic partner to The Nigerian government in ICT planning and development, I believe that you will continue to expand your contributions and training programs in Nigeria. The country needs the best strategic partnership in ICT and only the best is good enough for Nigeria. It is with great expectations that I therefore declared this Huawei Innovation and Experience Center open,” Shittu stated.

On his part, the Consular General, Federal Republic of China in Lagos, Chao Xiaoliang said Huawei is one of the Chinese companies that have grown rapidly in the last 40 years of the country’s development, adding that people from all over the world can learn that China is not only the world manufacturer, but also a future designer.

Xiaoliang said China and Nigeria are strategic partners and even share the same National Day, adding that “We have realised that the sweetness of the fruits from our mutually beneficial cooperation for many years. Under the backdrop of sluggish world economy China is restructuring its industries while Nigeria is diversifying its economy. The highly complementary economies and development strategies of our two countries will ensure that our cooperation would achieve win-win results. “

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