By Emeka Aginam
Again, stakeholders in the Nigerian ICT sector have raised fresh alarm over the activities of foreign ICT vendors saying that unless at least 60% of such services were domesticated locally, Nigeria will ever remain digitally colonized by foreigners especially India whose software controls the market.
If this trend is not reversed urgently according to industry watchers, Nigeria will remain consumers of foreign ICT products and will be left out in the digital exonomy.
Major concern of local vendors especially in the software domain is that if the the foreigners were not properly regulated, Nigeria will be a dumping ground.
The bail out option, according to local players is domestication of technology which has worked in other economies.
Foreign ICT vendors must comply with local rules:
Just late last year , the Minister of Communication and Technology, (CT) Mrs. Omobola Johnson has warned that activities of foreign ICT vendors must comply with local regulations to promote healthy competition.
The minister who spoke in Lagos during the 2011 Nigerian-India IT CEO high level business summit told more than 20 ICT companies from the National Association of Software and Service Companies, (NASSCOM) of India that Nigeria will not stop foreign companies foreign investors from coming to Nigeria to come and invest in our ICT industry.
She assured that she would use her new assignment to promote foreign direct investment inflows into the country’s ICT industry while stimulating local demand and engendering favourable competition among the indigenous and foreign companies operating in Nigeria.
Nigeria will not stop investors:
“Nigeria will not stop foreign foreign investors from coming to Nigeria to come and invest in our ICT industry but what we would be doing is to ensure that the activities of those foreign companies are aligned with our ICT industry while promoting local competition,” she said.
Similarly, speaking recently at the just concluded Nigerian-India IT CEO high business summit, the President of Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria, (ISPON) Chris Uwaje read the riot act to Indian software vendors at the event, the National Association of Software and Service Companies, (NASSCOM), saying that their relationship with their Nigerian counterpart be restructured along professional ethics.
Concerns of ISPON:
While charging NOTAP and NITDA to protect the Nigerian ICT eco-system, Chris Uwaje said that ISPON was equally concerned that NASSCOM members in Nigeria were not listed in the official Register of Computer Professionals (Registration) Council of Nigeria (CPN) in conformity with Act 49 of 1993, to practice the IT Profession in Nigeria, neither are they registered with Corporate Affairs Commission (CA).
NASSCOM members not registered with IT bodies:
He further said that NASSCOM members were not registered nor directly related with the Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), nor ISPON, ISPON, ACTON, while doing business in Nigeria.
ISPON, according to Uwaje was further concerned by the fact that the activities of NASSCOM do not comply with the Local Content Act 2010 which require the domestication of at least 60% of such services in Nigeria.