PPP will grow Nigeria’s tech infrastructure – Presidency


Mr Afolabi Imoukhuede, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Job Creation, says Public-Private Partnership (PPP) will grow Nigeria’s technology infrastructure.

Afolabi said this while fielding questions from newsmen at a youth empowerment programme, tagged, “The Surge Entrepreneurship Summit”, on Saturday in Abuja.

The theme of the summit is “Discovering Your Potential.’’

He said that the government would continue to provide an enabling environment for businesses and innovations to thrive.

“So, the first thing on the side of government is the fact that there is now a ministry that focuses on ICT and digital economy; we all have a lot of states that are buying into that; investments in their states in setting up hubs; in setting up technology infrastructure.

“Now, that is something that we must do; but again, you also find that there are a lot of private sector investments—the amount of global fund, investments that are coming into our tech space is enormous.

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“Ventures Park just two days ago announced first close of its fund; US$ 40 million, and these funds are going into investments; it is a pan African fund; Nigeria other African countries we know will benefit.

“So, the tech infrastructure will be grown by a partnership between the public and private sectors and I dare say largely, the private sector.

“What you need from government is really just policy; and what I saw recently as well, is that you find a lot of tech investors who are working with government to define the bill that they know will unlock and open that industry; so the tech guys are doing a lot of work.’’

According to him, it is the inter-relationship of the economy that creates jobs; hence the government will ensure that it keeps creating enabling environment.

He said that the government created such environment for business, ideas and innovations to thrive through its various agencies and ministries.

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“Of course, in the first term of this government, we also set up the National Social Investment Programme which we piloted directly though the president at the time; the success of that enabled us to now have a new ministry, Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management  and Social Development anchoring all of the social investment.

“The reason for that is basically just being able to help to stem the poverty tide because interventions in the economy do take time; while you are doing that, people are hungry.

“So, we use the social investment as a short term measure to stem poverty; to stem unemployment through the N-Power programme, the Conditional Cash Transfer, the School Feeding Programme.

“But over and above that, what we are also doing through the MSMEs Clinics that we do across the states is to work with the state and private sector to create opportunities; enabling environment for young people and everyone to able to discover their potential.’’

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The presidential aide said that there were a lot of young people in technology space; adding that in the last six years, technology had taken a real surge and helped in creating a lot of job opportunities.

According to him, the collaboration between the states, Federal Government, and the private sector is helping but there are still so much that can be done.

Another speaker at the event, Tosin Shoga, Founder Beat 79, said that communication is a key attribute of a leader.

“To be a good leader; to be able to run an enterprise successfully, communication is one the vital ingredients of becoming successful.

“Our youths must learn how to communicate; how to share information; how to share skills,” he said. (NAN)

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