Kola Aina, Ventures Platform; Funbi Falayi, Leadspace; Oloho Omame, Endeavor; Kola Oyeneyin, Venia Hub; Mohammed Jega, Startup Arewa; Ismaila Sanusi, Colab Kaduna; Daser David, Nhub Jos; and Adeyinka Adekeye, Founders Hub amongst others, are representing the private sector in the newly inaugurated Technology and Creativity Advisory Group of the Nigeria Industrial and Competitiveness Advisory Council.
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday, inaugurated the Council with a charge to draw a roadmap for both sectors promotion.
The group membership cut across ministers of communications technology; trade and investment; information and culture; science and technology; governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); Executive Vice Chairman (EVC), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC); director general National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA); managing director Bank of Industry (BOI); director general National Export Promotion Council (NEPC); executive secretary, Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC).
According to the Vice President, the quality of work in the advisory group, resourcefulness and diligence will define the future of the two sectors in the coming years.
“My expectation is that the work of the advisory group must add value to existing policies by coming up with an inclusive and all-embracing roadmap for promoting the technology and creative sectors so that they can create jobs, contribute to the growth and improve the well-being of Nigerians.
The advisory group could also help to increase the opportunities available to Nigerians to contribute to and excel in these sectors.’’
The Vice President noted that the technology and creative sectors had come to the centre stage of the nation’s economy given their actual and potential contribution to growth, job creation and entrepreneurship.
He said that the country had generated about $70 billion in Information Technology (IT) investments while the creative sector was one of the fastest growing in the world.
He stated that both sectors contributed in employment and also to boost the nation’s global profile noting that they had the potential for expansion.
According to Osinbajo, Nigeria is ranked 134 in the ICT development sector while the creative sector contributes 1.4 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product
He said that the contribution of the technology and creative sectors went beyond the macroeconomic benefits to the empowerment of the young working population thus preparing them for the digital future.
The Vice President said that the reason for placing the group within the council was because the council functioned in very dynamic, inclusive and result-oriented way and also well-resourced by the private sector.
“The Advisory group will enable stakeholders in the technology and creative industry to contribute directly to policy formulation, articulation and design of both sectors going forward.
“It will also bring the existing policies and on-going work at the ministerial level to the Presidential level.
“It will enable coherence and signal the importance that the federal government attaches to these sectors,’’ he said.
He recalled that several policies and interventions were introduced by the Ministry of Communication Technology and that of Information and Culture to support the technology and creative sectors.
Osinbajo also noted that the federal government had been working to promote the technology sector including the successful Aso Villa Demo Day and several other such initiatives as well as creating technology hubs across the country.
He added that the National Economic Council (NEC) had been pursuing the issue of expanding broadband infrastructure access by reducing and harmonizing the cost of provision and rights of way.
Osinbajo stated that the federal government recently took action to include the sector among those to benefit from pioneer status.
He added that efforts were on to tackle piracy in terms of intellectual property and copyright and to secure financial resources to support the secure and building of required infrastructure, including the N1 billion Nollywood Fund of the Bank of Industry to support film production.