Minister Lauds IBM’s Commitment to ICT Development

Mrs. Omobola Johnson, minister of Communication Technology, has commended International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) for its renewed commitment to partnering with the federal government to develop the information and communications technology (ICT) industry in Nigeria.

She stated this during a working visit of Ms Virginia ‘Ginni’ Rometty, chairman, president and chief executive officer of IBM to the Ministry in Abuja.

During the visit, Rometty announced that IBM would establish an innovation centre in the country by the first quarter of 2014 and fund major ICT research projects, complementing the efforts of the Ministry of Communication Technology’s iDEA incubation centres, and other ICT entrepreneurs to make Nigeria an ICT hub for software innovation.

As part of IBM’s renewed focus and commitment to Africa and Nigeria in particular, Rometty stated that IBM will be leveraging its extensive ICT curriculum to train thousands of youths and fund ICT research projects in Nigeria on ICT skills and also prepare them to solve major IT issues and challenges.

The company would also in the short and medium term, establish an innovation centre in the country that would complement others in South Africa and Kenya. ”IBM is committed to Nigeria’s ICT development agenda, and is poised to partner with the Communications Technology sector on various initiatives and programmes that will impact positively on the economy, as it continues to invest in key areas of technology development,” she said.

In her response, Johnson commended IBM for their renewed focus and commitment after a long history of operations in the country. She affirmed that IBM’s investment in innovation centre, research funding, training and development of local skills was a welcome response to the ministry’s continued call for multi-national IT companies to partner in developing the sector.

She expressed confidence that other multi-nationals would follow the bold steps of IBM and remain committed to a mutually beneficial partnership that would reflect their level of business in the country.

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