A report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) says Nigeria and India can expand mutual strengths to develop opportunities for the youth. PwC, in the report titled ‘Nigeria-India: Learnings from two large democracies’, explained the similarities between the two developing countries in terms of population, culture, common democracy, diaspora and economy. But it said despite the commonalities, there are discrepancies in technology, business lines and economics.
The report noted that these differences can, however, pose a chance for Nigeria to tap into the opportunities of India and address similar challenges, as well as India investing in Nigeria to become a global influence.
“Despite the similarities between the two countries, India has managed to perform much better on certain key dimensions like; export of services, government — enabled development, strengthening the educational system, formalising the informal sector, technology adoption, and cultural exports. Improving on these key dimensions might help Nigeria close the gap between itself and India,” the report reads.
“The export of services is a huge area of opportunity that can be explored by Nigeria. India’s share of world services as of 2018 stood at 3.5 percent, which is seven times more than the 0.5 percent recorded in 1995. This growth can be primarily attributed to the rise of ICT services and medical and wellness tourism. The primary reason behind the growth of the services sector in India is the underlying infrastructure for producing an economically vibrant and skilled workforce.
The report added that despite India’s uniqueness, it can explore and gain from Africa’s largest trade centre, Nigeria, by investing in ICT services, tech startups, agriculture, education, energy and the pharmaceutical industry.
India, which has a global reputation as a leader in the software industry, information technology enabled services, and business process outsourcing, has had more than 10 million people employed in the ICT sector over time.
The high demand for ICT services in India has also created demand for education, especially for engineering and computer science. This, in turn, has positioned India as a key ICT knowledge exporter.
Additionally, according to reports in 2023 alone, from January till the end of May, the total investment in ICT in Nigeria has reached the tune of $16 million out of which $4.5 million was made by Indian companies. That is 8% and the figure may increase before the end of the year.
In addition to Indian investment in ICT, there are companies in the software industry which are working in Nigeria in developing the infrastructure as well as the technical requirements for these businesses.
“At a time when the Nigerian economic environment is marked by uncertainties, there is a need to develop a greater synergy between India and Nigeria in order to reduce poverty and hunger, and improving the quality of life of many Nigerians”, said Abdullahi Alaso, a public analyst.
Alaso added that with several high profile ICT companies from India, Nigerian entrepreneurs and start-ups could tap into the abundance of technological knowledge to boost their business knowhow.
This is probably why Nigeria and India agreed recently to work together in the areas of ICT to accelerate innovation and digital economic growth across the country.
The Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani disclosed this after meeting with some Indian officials led by Dr. M.M. Tripathi, the Director-General of the National Institute of Electronics and Information Technology (NIELIT), in New Delhi.
Represented at the meeting by the Director General of the National Information Development Agency (NITDA) Kashifu Inuwa Abdullahi, Tiajni said the collaboration was a significant move towards bolstering collaboration in the realm of digital economy.
The minister said the partnership would also fulfil President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s vision of creating one million digital jobs for Nigerians by 2025.
The meeting, which was part of the Federal Government‘s participation at the G20 Summit in India, was aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of the Indian digital economy and explore avenues for knowledge sharing and collaboration.
The discussions covered topics ranging from digital skills development to cybersecurity and innovation.
Speaking on behalf Dr Tijani, Inuwa expressed his optimism about the prospects of mutual growth, while underscoring the importance of leveraging India’s vast expertise in digital technologies to bolster Nigeria’s digital economy.
He said leaders from both Nigeria and India emphasised that this partnership is not only about bilateral cooperation but also about contributing to the broader global digital ecosystem.
They believed that by joining forces, they can accelerate their respective digital transformations while also playing a more influential role in shaping the global tech space, he added.
In a related development, the Nigerian delegation also paid a working visit to the headquarters of the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM).
Mr. Shivendra Singh, Vice President, Global Trade Development, welcomed the Nigerian team and engaged them in fruitful discussions regarding potential areas of collaboration in the tech ecosystem.
Mr. Singh highlighted India’s thriving software and service industry, which has earned a global reputation for excellence.
He expressed his enthusiasm for working with Nigeria to identify trade partners and explore synergies that could benefit both nations.
He spoke about the government’s initiatives to support tech innovation and foster a vibrant startup ecosystem in Nigeria and the need for international partnerships to accelerate Nigeria’s progress in the digital space.
On his part, Mr. Shivendra Singh acknowledged Nigeria’s growing influence in Africa’s tech ecosystem and expressed a willingness to facilitate collaboration and knowledge exchange between Nigerian and Indian tech companies.
He said India is one of the world’s leaders in Digital Economy especially ICT development with significant contributions to the GDP.