to boost the sector whose growth rate was currently below an average of 30 per cent per annum. | By Eki Toju

The Federal Government has announced plans to invest the sum of $15 million in the information communication technology sector (ICT) in a bid to promote growth and job creation.

The move according to the government, is to boost the sector whose growth rate was currently below an average of 30 per cent per annum.

Omobolaji Johnson, Minister of Communications Technology, after presenting the ministry?s performance under the 2012 budget to President Goodluck Jonathan at the President Villa, Abuja, told journalist that despite government?s efforts to develop the sector, Nigeria at 60 per cent, remained the lowest in Africa in terms of mobile penetration.

Johnson who attributed the backwardness in mobile penetration to poor level of infrastructure, also noted that more work needed to be done in order to meet up with other countries in the continent.

She said the fund would be launched soon, but however, declined to give the actual date.

The venture capital fund being set up for the ICT industry is to be anchored by the Nigeria Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), which is expected to commit $3.6 million (N500 million) to the project.

The minister revealed that the federal government is expected to raise $15 million while the private sector, globally and locally would raise an additional $11.4 million.

?The $15 million will be managed by independent fund managers who would work with the ICT incubation team to identify projects or initiatives that we believe are great ideas that will be commercially successful. We will use those venture capital funds to fund them because there is no collateral. We are taking a risk,? she said.

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