The Honourable Minister of Communication Technology, Barrister Adebayo Shittu aka the ‘Good Bayo’ hosted the Head of Mission of Rwanda in his office today.
In a very interesting way, what was planned to be a courtesy visit by the Rwanda team to the minister turned out be a kind of enlightenment and business meeting as the Minister soaked in all the information he could get from the High Commissioner on how to make ICT a main force in growing the economy.
According to Rwanda High Commissioner, ICT contributes to the main source of income for the growth of their country. Sectors such as banking, health, education, hospitality, tourism and so many others have tapped into the opportunities available in ICT to power their businesses and as a result save time and cost of running their businesses.
He said, “ICT is the force driving these industries. All we did was build a master plan around ICT”.
The Head of the Rwanda Mission in Nigeria would have just scratched some of the opportunities inherent in ICT on the surface while the real day arrives for real discussions and implementation. In fact, he was planning on having a proposal sent to the Honourable Minister after the courtesy visit so that they would meet again on a more formal level for discussions.
Barrister Adebayo Shittu would however not have it that way. He wanted to get as much information as possible on the way to drive the Nigerian economy through ICT in other to open the doors of opportunities for youths and people in the world of technology as soon as possible.
Being the 7th in the world in the area of ICT, Rwanda could be said to be a role model and Barrister Adebayo Shittu would not want an opportunity to partner with that country waste away or be grabbed slowly. He quickly lapped at it and said, “I wouldn’t shy away from such a great chance. We would have to have a retreat as soon as possible where I would bring people from other ministries as well as get youths and people in labour to come and learn how they can harness the opportunities available in ICT. We must also do everything in our power to inspire stakeholders in the industry”.
On hearing from the Rwandan High Commissioner that Rwanda is the least corrupt country in Africa due to its advancement in the use of ICT to manage most strata of their economy, the interest of the Honourable Minister grew to a point where he took a pen and paper and wrote down answers to the right questions he asked his guests.
Thereafter, he said, “I sincerely hope we shall be able to fight corruption to the barest minimum with ICT in place. We also need to use ICT to create jobs for our youth, create investment opportunities and make education, health care delivery and trade and investment closer to the people”.
Amongst the items brought to the table and which are uppermost on the mind of the Honourable Minister are: making ICT available in the rural areas to make trading and agricultural products/pricing closer to the people, availability of mobile banking whereby kiosk owners could give money to people who do not have access to ATM machines with the prompting of buttons on their mobile phones, developing applications to make it easy for even illiterates to use ICT conveniently as well as redirecting ways of making wealth.
He is also planning on making it possible for children to start using computers from a young age.
There is already a retreat planned for the 21st and 22nd of this month at Ibadan where different experts in the world of ICT would be on ground to help lead the way for Nigeria to compete favourable in that’s sector in the shortest time possible.
The meeting ended with photographs and firm commitments.