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The Minister of Communications, Dr Abdur-Raheem Adebayo Shittu, has assured of Nigeria’s readiness to forge closer cooperation with India, to achieve meaningful growth in the ICT sector.

Adebayo made this known in Abuja while briefing newsmen about the proposed 4th edition of the Indo-Africa ICT conference and expo organised by Indian High Commission.

The event marked this year’s edition in the series is scheduled to hold from May 22 to May 23 in Lagos.

According to the Minister, this expo is very important because it was organised at a time Nigeria had made investment in its ICT at the front burner.

Adebayo said “Nigeria being the fastest growing ICT market and with a young population that have capacity and innovative mind, we stand to partner and learn from India.

“The Federal Government’s campaign on encouragement of the patronage of locally produced goods and services is on course.

“Government also put the spotlight on local manufacturers when, via three strategic executive orders, it compelled MDA’s to channel at least 40 per cents of procurement to locally-made goods and services.

“This expo will enable Nigeria’s start-ups, entrepreneurs and businesses to form partnerships with their foreign counterpart and pitch innovative creations for public/commercial acceptance.

“Government is more than ever before prepared to patronise made-in Nigeria goods, instead of buying foreign products, to grow faster and stimulate economic growth.”

Adebayo urged Indian investors to key into the numerous untapped resources and huge potential market in the country, to promote business cooperation between the two countries.

He described Nigeria to be among the fastest growing markets in African and by extension the world that had improved in macroeconomic indicator, comfortable business environment and population.

He, however, reiterated that the nation’s policy thrust is to step with reality of digital and fourth revolution, create viable environment for investment in network infrastructure.

Earlier, the High Commissioner of India to Nigeria, Mr Shri Reddy, said that the Third edition of the event took place in Lagos in September 2017

According to him, the holding of the 4th edition of the expo is reflective of commitment of India to engage with African countries, to promote use of ICTs in national economic development.

Reddy said “the choice of Lagos for this event for a second time is a recognition of the vast potentials that exists in Nigeria.

“It is also because of the nation’s importance as gateway to the West-Africa and other parts of the continent.”

He said that India and Africa would forge closer cooperation in efforts to accelerate growth in ICT with the view to boost economies through the use of advanced technologies and services.

He said that ICT would provide business opportunity for local entrepreneurs to pitch their solutions and products to over 50 Indian companies expected to attend the forthcoming event.

The expo was an initiative of Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TECP), an organisation set-up by government of India, to promote telecom services.

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