ATCON seeks implementation of local content in telecoms sector | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


ATCON seeks implementation of local content in telecoms sector

Posted: Apr 28, 2015 at 4:48 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Emmanuel Okwuke – Lagos


The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) has called for the implementation of the local content policy in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) industry just as it is in the Oil and Gas industry.

The President of the Association, Mr. Lanre Ajayi made this call at its Annual General Meeting (2015) held at Protea Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.

According to him, though there are no specific laws on local content for the ICT industry, there are committees that have been set up by the Communications Technology Ministry and the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to look into the possibility of coming up with a local content policy for the industry.

Mr Ajayi pointed out that Nigeria has never been short of policies, but the problem is that of implementation saying, “We must copy what is being done in the Oil and Gas industry for us to achieve much when it comes to local content policy in the ICT industry”.

He maintained that any implementation process that is not backed by law will be difficult.

“This where local content policy in the Oil and Gas sector is different because the policy is backed by law”, he said.

The ATCON boss maintained that what they are trying to look at as a body is to start with guidelines and thereafter develop it into a law.

“We must start preparing now so that when it gets to the National Assembly we would be prepared for it”, he affirmed.

In his submission, a former President of ATCON and Chairman, Teledom Group, Emmanuel Ekuwem, noted that the absence of a functional local content policy in the ICT industry is making our youthful population to waste away on our streets with little or nothing to do.

He lamented that as a result this, our foreign reserve is being depleted by the day, and it is affecting the value of our naira negatively. “We must start producing locally so that we can strengthen the naira.

Ekuwem regretted that as the largest economy in Africa, and the 26th in the world, stressing that if the Government do not strengthen the naira and local expertise, the nation’s economy would be in trouble.