The Honourable Minister of Communications, Barrister Adebayo Shittu said the Federal Government through the Ministry of Communications will be collaborating with the European Union Commission (EUC) to create a Digital Single Market in Nigeria.
He stated this on Thursday, February 2nd, 2017 during a meeting with the Vice President European Union Commission/Commissioner and his team for Digital Single market at their Embassy in Abuja.
Shittu expressed his appreciation and commended EU for choosing Nigeria as his first point of call to discuss the creation of Digital Single Market in Africa. He added that the size of Nigeria makes it the most lucrative investment destinations in the Sub-Sahara Africa with a high return in investment and an emerging market that made it one of the new frontier for investment and Digital Market consideration.
The Minister noted the collaboration is timely and called for more collaborative efforts by the EU as the ministry strives to implement its ICT strategic roadmap, e-Government and Mobile Broadband Plan. He pledged the ministry’s support for this meaningful initiative to diversify the economy by leveraging on ICT as its benefits cannot be over-emphasized. He therefore directed that a committee be set up comprising the ministry’s agencies and Nigerian Computer Society (NCS) on the new Digital Single Market paradigm ahead of the EU/Africa Summit holding November, 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
In his remarks, European Union Vice President/Commissioner on Digital Single market, Mr. Andrus Ansip said that Nigeria is in a good position to benefit from global trade through the export of ICTs, and that is why EU is ready to collaborate with Nigeria in this regard and improve the existing cordial relationship between Nigeria and EU.
Ansip promised to see Nigeria through the process of benefiting from this new digital initiative and have outlined the benefits amongst which are creation of jobs, improved access to digital goods and services, a level market place to buy and sell, roaming charges would be abolished, increase in GDP etc. He said EU is willing to extend investment fund to African countries particularly Nigeria, given its demography and geography in the continent. In addition he said that Europe has earmarked Africa and specifically Nigeria as the main pillar of Economic market, which informed his visit. It is expected that the Ministry of Communications will coordinate this action plan.
The EU Vice President requested the Hon. Minister of Communications to champion the single Digital paradigm in Africa.
The meeting was well attended by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Arc. Sonny Echono, the Executive Vice chairman of Nigeria communication commission (NCC) Prof Umar Dambatta ,some Directors of the Ministry and heads of agencies of the Ministry as well as the representatives of NIgeria Computer Society (NCS)
Source: Press office, Ministry of Communications
6th February, 2017