Minister Urges Nokia To Set Up Plant In Nigeria | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Minister Urges Nokia To Set Up Plant In Nigeria

Posted: Jul 22, 2016 at 6:06 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Hajiya Aisha Abubakar, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, has called on Nokia to set up a plant in the country to boost employment.

Abubakar made the appeal when Mr Richard Edet, Nokia Managing Director, Nigeria Customer Operations, paid her a courtesy call in Abuja on Thursday.

She said Nigerian youths were good in the area of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and would do well in such area.

“I don’t see why Nigeria cannot have a Nokia of its own; we cannot continue to rely on having names that we imbibe; let others also imbibe ours.

“You know when we talk of diversification we cannot do this without technology, so we need to partner with you to identify more areas of partnership,’’ Abubakar said.

According to her, the country has a population of almost 70 million people who are unemployed and lots of them are youths and women.

Abubakar said the ministry would partner with the Nokia company to set up ICT hops in the country.

“I am thinking we partner to set up ICT hubs around the country; Nokia is domiciled in Lagos alone and it’s not enough so we need more strength to reach all Nigerians,’’ she said.

She urged the company to improve on its social responsibilities and capacity building.

In his speech, Edet said Nokia currently employed 400 people and 98 percent were Nigerians.

He said Nokia was on top three providers in terms of telecom services and had been in Nigeria for quite number of years.

Edet said the visit was to seek for partnership with the Federal Government through the office of the minister.

He promised that the number would triple in due time.

“We seek your support directly or indirectly and we give you our commitment that the quality we give globally is what you will also get here without any compromise,’’ Edet said.

On the issue of Nokia plant in Nigeria, he said it was not something that would happen overnight, adding that the government needed to put in place the right infrastructure.

“This is because when you have a plant, you need to think of how to stay competitive price-wise, it is one thing to have the population, but it is another thing to have the right infrastructure.

“As the government works on improving power and roads in the nearest future, many global companies will be looking at setting up their plants here if the dynamic makes sense,’’ Edet said.