The Peoples Republic of China on Monday promised to help Nigeria achieve her Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) target, particularly on Information Communication and Technology (ICT), which holds huge prospects for developing the economy.
Consular, Economic and Commercial office of Chinese Embassy in Nigeria, Zhao Linxiang, stated this at the opening ceremony of the 2017 Overseas Training Course on Telecommunications Technologies for Nigeria, in Abuja.
“We are willing to help Nigeria in the field of telecommunication and ICT industry and share the experience we have with Nigerians,” he stated.
Nigeria’s goals under the ERGP goals for telecommunication and ICT is to increase the number of individuals using the internet from 47.4 to 75 percent by 2020 and provide adequate infrastructure (power, buildings) and fast track broadband internet implementation. Chinese government and companies are willing to cooperate with Nigeria to achieve these goals.
Linxiang said the Chinese government holds training courses covering all sectors involved with development for developing countries, especially African countries.
“Our office puts training for Nigerians at a very important place. In the past years, we recommended many Nigerian officials and technicians from various fields to training courses, giving many Nigerians chances to go to China and learn and they benefited a lot from the training courses. We believe by continuing giving Nigerians more opportunities to training courses, we can build even better relationship between the two countries.
“Nigeria’s Telecommunication and ICT industry owns great potential. The liberalization of communication in telecommunications has already Increased services enormously. Yet the relatively low penetration of mobile subscription and potential of data-generated revenue suggests the potential for further medium-term growth.
Reeling out figures, Linxiang said by third quarter 2016, the sector had contributed 4.4% of total GDP and was the second fastest growing sector in absolute terms. According to him, Nigeria being the biggest population and economy in Africa has more than 230 million GSM users and has a total of 235 million telecom users. Also, there are more than 91 million mobile Internet users in Nigeria.
He added that the success of the training course will lift the capacity building cooperation between the two governments to a new level.
In his welcome address the Managing Director, Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria limited, Liteng Tank, said his company which is also a co-organizer of the training programme would use the training to impact skills on Nigerians who in turn can now contribute to Nigeria’s digital change.
Also Chairman, House Committee on Nigeria – China Relations, Yusuf Yakubu, said the training is a fall out of the smooth relations between China and Nigeria and assured that the National Assembly would continue to make laws that would enable legitimate Chinese companies operate without hitches in the country.