The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), yesterday in Lagos gave panacea to the best way to deepen local participation in the growing telecoms industry in Nigeria.
It his presentation at a one summit put together by the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and Office for Nigeria Content Development in ICT (ONC) to galvanise stakeholders’ views towards addressing local content related issues in the industry, Mr. Olusola Teniola, president of ATCON said “ATCON’s support for the initiative was borne of the need to eliminate imbalances in the sector as some indices are skewed against the local investors”.
“The Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) considered this initiative strategic and timely and for these two reasons it is happy to identify with the collaboration put together by Nigerian Communications Commission and Office for Nigeria Content Development in ICT to address Local Content Development in the telecommunications and ICT subsector,” he said.
Speaking on the philosophy of ‘Local Content Development in the Telecom and ICT Sector’, the ATCON President said, that all stakeholders should work towards correcting the imbalance in the international trade balance; restructure Nigerian ICT industry with a view to increase Nigeria participation in the value chain, and to stimulate growth and development in the manufacturing of some ICT products and services.
Continuing, he said “It is obvious that the structure of Nigeria Telecommunications and ICT sector is not really beneficial to Nigeria as a country in terms of foreign exchange earnings because most of the inputs in the sector are imported from the developed countries.
“If we really want to pursue Nigerian Local Content development vigorously as a nation with the intention of increasing its impact on our revenue we must devise a means of producing those inputs locally.
Giving the way forward, Teniola recommended for “a plan to comprehensively develop the ICT sector.”
“NCC and ONC should as a matter of urgency implement the plan they have developed to increase the active participation of Nigerian Content in the value chain of telecommunications business in Nigeria.
Other models that can be employed to grow local content include Creation of Evaluation, Monitoring and Enforcement Unit, establishment of ICT Park, and Professional Apprenticeship in Telecommunications.