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Expert Urges FG to Create IT Segment Champions to Drive Growth, Self-Reliant

The Managing Director, Dr. Yele Okeremi

 

To build a digital economy, the Federal Government of Nigeria must improve the country’s IT industry, increase government investment, emphasize creating segment winners and adopt a more market-based approach by giving the responsibility of allocating public funds to local private-equity companies.

Yele Okeremi, the co-founder and CEO of Precise Financial Services (PFS), who offered this advice in a chat with Fintech Africa, admonished the federal government to stop the sensationalism of fintech foreign investment in Nigeria.

He, therefore, urged the government to urgently identify some areas where Nigeria is spending most on technology and commence a programme that guarantees that Nigeria can provide 60% of such solutions locally in five years and over 80% in 10 years.

He noted that it is imperative for Nigeria to think big and be a self-reliant regional and global leaders like India and China.

“We should study how China became self-sufficient in technology and replicate some of the strategies,” he recommended, adding that the oriental country is becoming a global giant in the semiconductor industry, a segment hitherto dominated by the United States of America.

In June 2014, the State Council of China released the National Guidelines for Development and Promotion of the Integrated Circuit (IC) Industry.

The long-awaited policy to improve the country’s semiconductor industry increased government investment, laid emphasis on creating segment winners, and adopted a more market-based approach by giving the responsibility of allocating public funds to local private-equity companies.

The investments paid off as China’s semiconductor sector, SEMI, which was revealed in 2021 emerged as one of the world’s largest in less than a decade.

US-based Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), the industry body estimated Beijing’s revenue from the IC industry would double from $128 billion from 2015-2020 to $257 billion by 2025. Noting that Chinese wafer fab capacity had soared from 9% in 2010 to 17% in 2020, it forecasted China to sustain its world leadership in new fab projects and capacity growth with $20 billion investments in chip equipment for 2021.

In 2021, China outpaced other markets in the world and accounted for more than a third of global chip sales including analog, logic, and memory products at almost $193 billion.