Nigeria estimated to spend about N120 bn by 2020 on importation of foreign technologies- Pantami
The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) said the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in the country sold 608,296 devices in three years.
The Director-General, NITDA, Dr Isa Pantami, made this known during the 14th Annual Technology Africa Leadership Roundtable, held on Friday night in Lagos.
Speaking at the roundtable themed: “Broadband, Big Data, Cyber Security, Local Content, Infrastructure Protection: Catalyst for Economic Growth and National Development” the representative of the DG NITDA, Dr Vincent Olatunji, the Director, eGovernment Development and Regulatory, NITDA, Pantami said the period was from 2015 and 2017.
He said that the number of the locally-assembled devices sold by OEMs in the country increased because of the National Local Content Policy on Information Communications Technology (ICT).
According to him, in line with the Federal Government’s efforts at economic diversification, our efforts resulted in an unprecedented increase in the patronage of locally-assembled devices.
“Records have shown that, Indigenous Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) sold 98,224 devices in 2015, 154,424 in 2016 and 355,647 in 2017. This is unprecedented in the history of the country and this is expected to continue to grow significantly”.
“NITDA’s efforts attracted the establishment of AfriOne as an Indigenous IT company and an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) in 2017. The agency is reviewing six other applications for the indigenous IT companies and Original Equipment Manufacturers,’’ the director-general said.
He said that with the growing pressure of globalisation, every government as well as captains of industry were charged with the burden of finding ways to ensure that their regions or jurisdictions remained competitive and were capable of fulfilling local demands.
Pantami said that it was imperative that the right frameworks were created to enhance the ability of indigenous companies to maximally explore and exploit local opportunities, as well as remain competitive.
He said that regions must look inwards to drive development, promote local innovation and production as well as play in almost all parts of the value chain.
According to him, in an effort to change the narrative and place emphasis on the need to derive benefits from its human capital in technology, the National Local Content Policy on Information Communication Technology (ICT) was put in place by government.
The director-general said that the policy was put in place through the Ministry of Communications, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and the Nigerian Communications Commissions (NCC).
“Subsequently, the Office for Nigerian Content Development in ICT (ONC) was established in 2013, as a subsidiary of NITDA to spearhead the National Local Content Policy”.
“NITDA through ONC is set out to drive the development of local content through the implementation of the Regulatory Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT. This is with a mandate to push for the development of local skills, technology transfer, use of local manpower and local manufacturing”.
“It has been estimated that Nigeria will spend about N120 billion by the year 2020 on importation of foreign technologies, considering that about 80 per cent of ICT hardware and software purchases are still being imported,’’ Pantami said.
According to him, NITDA seeks to ensure that a larger percentage of the procurement by MDAs are actually awarded to Nigerian indigenous firms, who in turn develop quality software applications and hardware devices. (NAN)