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Nigeria partners Kenya, Rwanda on ICT





The Minister of Communications, Barrister Abdulraheem Adebayo Shittu, has disclosed that the Federal Government has commenced a working relationship with Kenya and Rwanda governments on the maximum use of ICT to improve the financial inclusive of Nigerians.
He added that the government is also contemplating on the need to establish a communications bank which will be a development bank that will assist in the financing of communication and ICT companies based in the country.
Barr. Shittu stated this in Ilorin, the Kwara State while speaking with journalists at the weekend.
According to him, “Nigeria has to bury her pride and visit the two smaller African countries to learn how they have advanced in their technological know-how and how they have used communication and ICT to improve the living standard of their citizens.
“In Nigeria today, less than 50 percent of the local government areas lacks banking facilities hence, they are being excluded from physical policies of government but with the e-banking being introduced, Nigerians can operate financial transactions from their homes as well as transact other official business through their GSM including applying for international passports.”
The Minister however explained that the establishment of the bank would create a welfare society and assist operators of communication companies to access working capital at low interest rate lamenting that foreign ICT operators are finding it extremely difficult to operate presently in the country hence the need for the Federal Government to come to their aid.
He further stressed that, “Telecommunication business is very expensive as it requires huge capital explaining two hundred and fifty million dollars would be needed to obtain a license while installation of a mast would attract about N 40 billion.”
Shittu also described the Ministry of Communications as the second after the Petroleum sector in terms of revenue generation to the coffers of the Federal Government stressing that in the past sixteen years, GSM operators are contributing about twelve percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He added that the communication sector is the highest employer of labour today in the country and said the Federal government was doing everything possible to create an enabling environment for operators of that sector so that business would run more profitably.
Barr. Shittu disclosed that there are also plans to produce SIM cards through local production adding that a letter to that effect has been forwarded to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for approval.

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