The Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the Nigerian Communications Commission, Professor Umar Danbatta, has said the commission has so far identified 72 action points to promote indigenous content in the telecoms sector.
Danbatta disclosed this in his keynote address at the third edition of Policy Implementation Assisted Forum with the theme: ‘Establishing Trackable Metrics for Developing Nigeria’s Indigenous Telecoms Sector’ in Lagos.
He added that the commission has also brought at least 30 stakeholders to the round table to chart ways for the effective implementation of the National Policy for Promotion of Indigenous Content Policy in the Nigerian Telecommunications Sector (NPPIC) assented to By President Muhammadu Buhari in 2021.
What they are saying
The EVC, who was represented at the forum by Babagana Digima, Head of the Nigeria Office for Promoting the Indigenous Telecoms Sector (NODITS), said: “At a higher level, the Commission had identified 72 time-based metrics for NPPIC which it classed into immediate, short term, medium term, and long-term items and these include activities such as the creation of NODITS dedicated to guiding the policy; constitution of local content steering committee; engagement with relevant internal and external stakeholders; and commissioning baseline studies on the level of indigenous content in the Nigerian telecoms industry”.
- Others, according to him, include development of regulations, monitoring and enforcement of Key Performance Indices (KPIs) and methodologies; development of implementation guidelines; continuous efforts in research and development (R&D); monitoring, evaluation, and enforcement.
- “To ensure the effective implementation of the NPPIC, we have articulated several targets and high impact interventions, which are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based (SMART)”, Danbatta said.
In his remarks, Omobayo Azeez, Convener of PIAFo, stressed the need to domesticate inputs into the telecoms sector to ease pressure on the Nigerian economy. While acknowledging that the telecommunications sector had unarguably become one indispensable economic enabler for the country and its people, he said sadly, the sector remains grossly dependent on foreign inputs which at the end of every operating year resulted in capital flights above $2.16 billion.
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- “When operators have to depend solely on foreign talents, solutions, equipment and accessories, they will also have to deal with the hassle of accessing forex as one of the major problems. As such, operators suffer, customers suffer and even our dear Naira is also at a receiving end – it continues to lose value.
- “We realise that with the policy in place, the work has just begun because effective implementation of a policy is the true measure of its success. We want this policy to come to fruition and create inclusive benefits for individuals, businesses and the economy,” he said.
The National Policy for Promotion of Indigenous Content Policy in the Nigerian Telecommunications Sector, which was introduced in May 2021, seeks to increase local content in the sector with attention to building local capacity and increasing patronage of indigenous content in telecoms.