Vice Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Peter Obi and the party’s governorship candidate in Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, have vowed a PDP administration will ensure information technology (ICT) dealers in the Computer Village market in Lagos benefit from the global $5 trillion ICT market.
Both candidates made the pledge when the PDP campaign train visited the market.
Obi said a PDP administration would support and partner the Computer Village market, which he said hosts the largest concentration of ICT dealers in West Africa.
“ICT is about $5trillion. Nigeria gets far less than that from crude oil sales. It makes less than 0.05 per cent of this figure. We will support ICT because it is the new oil.
“The Computer Village is the first of our market tours. We started at the Computer Village because it is the future; it hosts the largest concentration of ICT in West Africa. ICT is a driver of knowledge and knowledge economy is the future.
“It is critical for the government to support you. By supporting you, we are also supporting Nigeria because ICT is the new oil. If countries like China and Malaysia leveraged on ICT to grow their economies, Nigeria can do same,” Obi said.
He also said a PDP administration will support micro, small and medium scale businesses to grow the economy, reduce unemployment and strengthen the currency.
“Micro, small and medium scale businesses are the pillar of the economy and a PDP administration will support this sector.
“Businesses are not doing well today in Nigeria because the man at the helm of affairs knows nothing about business. I am a trader and I have a record of being in the market.
“By the time we support your business to start doing exports rather than just sales, the exchange rate will naturally come down. We will grow the economy and reduce unemployment,” Obi said.
Corroborating Obi’s position, Agbaje regretted government’s neglect of ICT had resulted in the loss of business opportunities for the country.
He said public primary schools in Lagos State would have been enjoying free wifi, but for the insensitivity of the state government.
He said: “Google came to Lagos and said they want to give all schools free wifi. But the government demanded the right of way payment. You know telecommunication companies rely on fibre optics which they bury in the ground. But to do that, they have to pay right of way. When they approached the state government, what the government demanded was exorbitant, so they went to Ghana.”
He said his administration in the state will partner businesses in the Computer Village to grow a stronger economy.
“We will partner your businesses to grow. We know that when your businesses grow, you will employ more people and of course you will pay tax to help the economy of the state grow,” Agbaje said.