Considering the fact that the Nigerian education system has been negatively impacted by COVID-19 pandemic, Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Limited has been urged to help with affordable solutions that would guarantee digital value additions and accessibility to the Nigerian rural communities.
Speaking during the courtesy visit by Trevor Liu, Managing Director and Nigeria Representative of Huawei Technologies Company Nigeria Limited, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, asked the company to look at the possibility of expanding the country’s rural telephony.
She also appealed to Huawei to bring into Nigeria assembly plants and repair workshops that could help create jobs and expand the value chain for the Nigerian citizenry, noting that the country is a big market. Ahmed also noted from her experience that Huawei is very efficient, having been at the company in Beijing to see things for herself.
According to the Honourable Minister, the education system has been most impacted by COVID-19 and only students and children in the cities have been able to have access to digital learning. “A lot of our kids and students in the rural communities are not fortunate enough to plug into such platform,” She said. She, therefore, appealed and wished Huawei could look into the prospect of rural telephony.
Liu, who have been in Nigeria for six months, who at the visit presented video conference system, said he came to show appreciation and support to the Honourable Minister, claiming that the company, which has been in existence since 1999, has been the number one information communication technology (ICT) solution supplier in Nigeria telecoms market.
He disclosed that the company slowed because United States prevented Google from being on Huawei platform. Talking about how the company value its human capital, Liu said all their employees are shareholders, and that the company does not have too much foot hold in China.
After china, according to him, Nigeria is the second country in the world that benefits from Huawei’s training. He said that the company, which is training-oriented, has been providing training with many Nigerian universities and communication companies, including MTN, GLO, and Airtel.
Highlighting Huawei’s contribution in Nigeria, Liu stated that while the total investment of the company in Nigeria is worth USD$76million, its procurement in the country between 2016 and 2019 is $630million. Their tax revenue generated within the period is $103million.
The company, according to him, has created over 400 direct job opportunities among whom Nigerians make up to 70 percent. This is in addition to over 60,000 indirect job opportunities and over 470 Nigeria sub-contractors and partners. The company has in the country established International Training Centre in Abuja, and both Innovation and Experience Centre and Regional Network Operation Centre (RNOC) in Lagos.
Liu also stated that in the company’s ICT job creation efforts, there is over 54 Huawei ICT Academy in universities and polytechnics, the company has certified over 880 students and teachers each year. Over 13,600 Nigerian students participated in Huawei ICT Competition for 2018-2019 and won third prize in global final.
In Huawei’s ICT partnership programme, the company has provided ICT training for its Nigerian partners, customers, converging over 900 engineers each year, while over 400 engineers have got the company’s authorised ICT certification. In its programme for government officers, Huawei trained 1000 government officers in ICT technology in 2019, this is apart from training 2000 youth in ICT in 2016, and training 1000 girls in 2014-2015 basic ICT.
The company has also engaged in ICT for government and economic development having been involved in the improvement of ICT infrastructure of government e-education, e-health, e-customs, e-commerce, e-post, e-government and smart city technology. Huawei is also engaged in the National Cloud Data Centre, building Nigeria Data Sovereignty, all to improve the government efficiency, promote economic development, and accelerate the social digital transformation. The company’s digital solution has also helped to facilitate trade and increase revenue through e-government platform.