Vice President Yemi Osinbajo Monday inaugurated the Technology and Creativity Advisory Group of the Industrial Policy and Competitiveness Advisory Council.
The group brings personalities in Nigeria’s Technology and Creative Industry to be part of the Industrial Council, which President Muhammadu Buhari established in 2016 to boost public, private partnership.
Speaking at the inauguration of the group, Professor Osinbajo said the technology and creative sectors have come to centre stage in the Nigerian economy “given their actual and potential contribution to growth, job creation and entrepreneurship.”
According to him, Nigeria is estimated to have generated about US$70billion, in ICT investments, while the country’s creative industry is the fastest growing in the world.
“Both sectors also contribute a great deal in terms of employment and have contributed enormously to boosting Nigeria’s global profile,” Osinbajo stated.
The vice president said that the example of other countries, however, showed that there is great scope for expansion of both sectors in Nigeria.
He said Nigeria was still ranked 134 in ICT development, while the creative sector still contributes just over 1.4% to GDP, pointing that the contribution of the sectors goes beyond such figures.
“In any case, the contribution of the technology and creative sectors goes beyond macro-economic benefits to the empowerment of Nigeria’s young working population and preparing them for the digital future, which indeed is already hear,” he said.
He said the Technology and Creative Group was placed in the Industrial Council because the “council functions in a very dynamic, inclusive and result-oriented way.”
Osinbajo said the advisory group would enable stakeholders in the technology and creative industry to contribute directly to policy formulation, articulation and the design of both sectors.
“It will also bring together existing policies and ongoing work taking place at the ministerial level to the presidential level. It will enable coherence and signal the importance the federal government attaches to this sector.”
According to the Vice President, there has been several policies and interventions introduced to support the technology and creative sector by the Ministry of Communication Technology and the Ministry of Information and Culture.
He said the federal government has established an office for ICT, innovations and entrepreneurship to support actors in the technology sector.
He said the office has programmes like startup clinics to promote and encourage fresh startups while interacting with existing startups to help resolve the challenges and problems that they face.
“The federal government has been working to promote the technology sector in Nigeria. In addition to the successful Aso Villa Demo Day, and several other such initiatives, government is creating and supporting technology hubs across the country.”
Osinbajo said he visited a number of technology hubs in the last week and activated technology hubs in the north central and north east last week.
The vice president said the National Economic Council, NEC, which he chairs, has been working on the issue of expanding access to broadband infrastructure across Nigeria, including reducing and harmonizing the cost of production and also the course of right of way.
“With regards to the creative industry, the federal government also recently took action to include the sector among those that will benefit from pioneer status,” he stated, adding that efforts were “under way to tackle piracy in terms of intellectual property and copyright.”
Osinbajo said the Bank of Industry, BOI, already has the N1billion Nolly Fund to support film production in Nigeria.
Vice President Osinbajo said he would expect the work of the advisory group to 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 could create jobs, contribute to growth and improve the well-being of Nigerians.
The Technology and Creativity Advisory has as members young Nigerians in the technology, ICT as well as music and film industries.