By Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Office of the Vice President
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, will be leading a public-private sector collaborative investment roadshow to the United States, where he will be speaking to global industry leaders in information technology and entertainment at the Silicon Valley in San Francisco and Hollywood in Los Angeles, California, from Monday, July 9 to Wednesday, July 11, 2018.
Prof. Osinbajo would be joined on the investment roadshow by members of the recently inaugurated Advisory Group on Technology and Creativity – an integral part of the National Industrial Policy & Competitiveness Advisory Council – primarily to showcase the continued improvement in Nigeria’s business environment to entrepreneurs, investors and business leaders in both American cities.
During the trip, Prof. Osinbajo will emphasize on a number of the Buhari administration’s policies such as the Ease of Doing Business reforms, which have improved the country’s ranking in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index 2017.
In the World Bank Doing Business index, Nigeria climbed up 24 places and was placed on the list of 10 most reformed economies globally. Also, the report noted that Nigeria made significant progress across several indicators comprising starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, and resolving insolvency.
During the US trip, the Vice President will also visit the Headquarters of some leading global technology companies.
There will also be sessions with investors, Fund Managers and large US technology companies, as well as presentations by the Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), the Bank of Industry (BOI), and the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat.
Other aspects of the Vice President’s trip will be to showcase to the world the progress and strides in the country’s technology, innovation and creative space by Nigerian technology start-ups and entertainment industry practitioners.
It would be recalled that in recognition of the central role of innovation and technology in the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery & Growth Plan, the Vice President has spoken extensively about the commitment of Government to supporting the growth of technology and creative industries in the country through its policies and reforms.
In the same vein, to strengthen the technology and innovation ecosystem, the Federal Government, in partnership with the private sector, is supporting the development of new technology and innovation hubs, in the country’s six geopolitical zones to provide solutions to the peculiar local challenges in areas such as healthcare, education and technology. Each of these hubs will focus on solving the market challenges peculiar to the region of the country in which it is located. Some of these hubs include the North East Innovation Hub, South-South Innovation Hubs which have already been launched.
The Federal Government is also promoting growth of the sector through its collaboration with the Bank of Industry and other private sector to run a Presidential Technology Innovation Challenge in all Nigerian universities starting recently at the University of Lagos.
It would also be recalled that as part of the National Industrial and Competitiveness Advisory Council, which is chaired by the Vice President, the Federal Government recently established the Technology and Creativity Advisory Group to further support the growth of technology start-ups and help shape effective policy around technology, innovation and creativity. (The group is composed of both government and private sector operators, including business leaders, many of whom are participating in the trip.)
Also, during the trip, some leading Nigerian start-ups will be making pitches about their ideas and products so as to promote investment by US companies in Nigeria’s technology and creativity sector.
It would also focus on collaboration between Nigerian and US companies in the areas of technology and entertainment, including further cooperation between Nigeria’s film industry, Nollywood, and US Hollywood in the areas of production, distribution and content protection.
Another objective of the investment mission is to attract Africans in the Diaspora to mentor and support start-ups in Nigeria.
Accompanying the Vice President during the trip would be the Honourable Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okey Enelamah; Special Adviser to the President on Economic Affairs, Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu; senior government officials from the Nigeria Investment Promotion Council, Nigeria Export Promotion Council Ease of Doing Business Secretariat among others.
The Vice President, who left Nigeria yesterday, will be returning to the country on Thursday, July 12.