Mr Abubakar Malami, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice has called for the establishment of special national Information Communication Technology (ICT) innovation fund to support the aspiration of young Nigerians.
Malami, who was represented by Mr Dayo Akpata, Solicitor General of the Federation, made this call on Tuesday in Abuja, while delivering a keynote address at the 2017 eNigeria conference.
The conference, organised by the National Information Development Technology Agency (NITDA), has the theme: “Fostering Digital Economy through Local Content Development and Effective Regulations.”
He commended NITDA for the active role it had played in the development of ICT in the country.
“There is however a need to do more through the creation of special national ICT innovation fund to support the aspiration and integrity of young Nigerians with broaden ideas who had demonstrated admirable ingenuity in this field.
“In addition, NITDA must partner with relevant organisations such as the Central Bank of Nigeria, Tertiary Institutions and development partners to create access to affordable capital for funding ICT manufacturers.
“Innovative developers cannot be over-emphasised as consolidation of this effort will ensure local content deep root and provides benefit of strong digital economy, ” he said.
Malami noted that the nation was confronted with several challenges in the area of corruption, terrorism and in the economy.
He said that the present administration had identified these areas as its priority upon its inauguration in 29th may 2015.
According to him, as a nation, we are all unanimous that there is an urgent need to create jobs and opportunity to young Nigerians to turn them away from these vices.
“Without meaningful jobs and source of livelihood all these ills will continue to cast a cloud and hamper any progress in the development of Nigerian state.
“To address this, the present administration has happily resolved to strengthen the national local content policy in order to ensure that Nigeria builds significant capacity for self sustenance, ” the minister added.
According to him, ICT was one of the focal areas, the Federal Government has notified as mandatory service support for local content in public procurement by the ministries, departments and agencies as contained in the Executive order number 3.
He, however, urged all stakeholders in the ICT sector to ensure that the digital environment is properly regulated for optimal social and economic benefits.
“As you go forward to ponder over these issues, I wish you all fruitful discussion and look forward to the outcome of your deliberations.
“Please be assured of my office stand to partner with NITDA and other stakeholders in actualizing your proposal and innovative arising from this conference for overall national development.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that eNigeria was an annual Information Technology (IT) summit organised by NITDA, which brings together relevant stakeholders from the private, public, non-governmental organisations and the international IT community.
It is a veritable Platform for ICT awareness creation, developing the appropriate framework and setting goals for best practices to position Nigeria in the global information society. (NAN)