The presidential candidate of the Allied Congress of Nigeria (ACPN), Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, has promised Nigerians that she would make the country’s economy, the most innovative in Africa if she is elected in the forthcoming presidential election.
Ezekwesili said this in a press statement on Tuesday, January 1st, 2018.
According to Ezekwesili, In order to make Nigeria’s economy would outshine that of its contemporaries in Africa in terms of technology, there will be need of creating a special fund for science and technology and reformation of key financial institutions. She said:
“We will be creating a $1bn Science, Technology and Innovation fund to ensure that science, technology and innovation becomes the enabler for socio-economic development and structural transformation.
“The goal is to kick-start the process of becoming Africa’s number one innovation and knowledge economy. The STI fund will support the building of a robust national innovation system, carry out reforms and re-organisation of existing institutions, and fund the scale-up of Small and Medium-scale Enterprises and start-ups in the technology space, research and development, knowledge transfer, among others. The fund will function as a partnership between the government and the private sector.”
Ezekwesili also said policies that would ensure the increase of technology start-ups in the country by at least 500 percent in the next four years would be designed and implemented.
“We will set up an Information and Communications Technology programme with a focus on ensuring Nigerians are growing in the remote working and outsourcing global market. The plan will be to create centres of ICT advancement in all states with a focus on an average of 10,000 developers in each state.”
“Simultaneously, a group of technology ambassadors will be engaging global sourcing centres, providing them with comparative advantage of opening or expanding current operations in Nigeria. The ICT programme will partner the private sector in investing in real estate that allows remote tech workers involved in tech development, data science, Artificial Intelligence and emerging technologies to comfortably work.”
“360,000 persons will be impacted directly through this programme; N1.5m Nigerians will be indirect beneficiaries. This plan is costed at N100bn, which will be financed by the STI Fund, which is in turn financed from the oil subsidy savings.”