By Emmanuel Elebeke & Grace Udofia
The Federal Government, Thursday, said it plans to boost local content in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector so as increase the country’s revenue profile and help it compete favourably in the global market.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ forum in Abuja organized by the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, maintained that local content in the ICT industry is very crucial to the country at this point, especially as the country is focusing on diversifying its revenue sources away from crude oil.
Shittu, who was represented by Director of ICT in the Ministry of Communications, Mrs. Monilola Udoh stated that emphasis on local content would help in the diversification of the economy as oil price continues to go down, engender an increase in GDP, create more jobs and encourage foreign investors to invest in the country.
His words: “Government has pledged to support ICT centres to enable more young people in the country to come up with great ideas to improve the sector. Presently, about eight per cent of the country’s GDP is contributed by ICT, the aim of the government is to improve it to about 30 per cent before the end of this administration by 2019.”
He promised that the government will help address the issues that affect the sector such as poor quality control, pricing, and quality of service and support of the private sectors to build world class data centres to create more jobs in the country.
In his address, the acting Director General of NITDA, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, lamented the high consumption rate of imported goods in the country, noting that “it is time for us to start manufacturing some of these machines and better our economy rather than to export all the time.”
‘’The population of Nigeria is an advantage to us if we encourage local content because the market in Nigeria alone is a very huge one if we patronise what we have,” he said’