VENTURES AFRICA – To further improve Information and Communications Technology in the Nigeria, the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Communications Technology, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nokia, a world-leading mobile company.
According to the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, the MOU was one of several Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiatives being undertaken by the Ministry to foster innovation and development of the ICT sector in Nigeria.
The MoU would ensure that the Federal Government of Nigeria and Nokia collaborate in the areas of mobile enabled corporate social investment initiatives and low cost solutions that will benefit Nigerian students, government and consumers.
The agreement also binds both parties to collaborate in terms of providing support for stimulating the growth of the local application developer ecosystem and industry, providing regulatory and policy support for maximising the positive impact of mobile technologies in the country, and enabling the building of environmental awareness and expansion of handset recycling in the country.
According to the Vice-President of Nokia for West Africa and Central Africa, James Rutherfoord, despite the advent of GSM technology in Nigeria, a sizeable proportion of the population were yet to be connected by mobile, a development, which he said, impedes economic growth. To this effect, Nokia will establish a mobile software laboratory in Nigeria with a dedicated growth programme for local developers focusing on technical, design and business skills. This would enable Nigerian developers and entrepreneurs develop the right skill for creating sustainable businesses around mobile software and content development.
The partnership is expected to demonstrate the value of mobile enhanced services for the people of Nigeria and to support growth of indigenous innovation, resulting in solutions and services created by local application developers.
Johnson also revealed that the Federal Government was very much aware of the impact ICTs could have on the development of the nation, hence the government is making to ensure that ICT was deployed as a tool to foster inclusive development and transform Nigeria into a digitalised economy.