By Victoria Ojeme
ABUJA- Minister of Communications, Dr. Abdur-raheem Adebayo Shittu said Chinese companies have invested over $16 billion in Nigerian telecommunications industry.
He disclosed this in Abuja at a one-day conference on “Africa-China Cooperation in Information Technology and Digital Economy: Prospects and Challenges”, organized by the Nigerian Institute of
International Affairs, in association with Chinese Embassy and Huawei Technologies.
According to the minister, the revolution in the ICT sector has provided $32 billion in foreign direct investment over the last 15 years.
“As part of that ICT ecosystem and guided by the recognition of the boundless potential of our great nation within the digital economy, Chinese companies have invested over $16 billion to date in fixed assets and facilities nationwide to build and support most network operators in the country,” he said.
Such investments in infrastructure have created an ICT backbone that powers various critical sectors of the economy such as Banking, E-commerce, Insurance, Oil & Gas, he added.
He said the Chinese tech giant, Huawei Technologies, and China Railway Construction Corporation are collaborating with the Communications Ministry on NIPOST’s e-post project.
“We are committed to providing efficient and multi-functional Post Information system to improve modernization and computerization of NIPOST,” he added.
Foreign Affairs Minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, commended the China’s support in strengthening Nigeria economic development.
He said Nigeria is committed to continue collaborating with China and other global partners in the field of ICT with a view to attaining a digital economy.
He therefore urged stakeholders in the ICT in Nigeria to contribute more in the context of Public Private Partnership in developing the sector.
The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Zhou Pingjian restated his country’s commitment to stepping up cooperation with Nigeria in ICT and digital economy within the framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).
He said the next FOCAC summit, billed to hold in September this year in Beijing, China would unveil new measures for China-Africa all round cooperation in the next stage and open up new prospects for common development.