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Local Stakeholders Need To Promote Nigeria’s Indigenous Telecom Sector- NCC

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Prof, Umar Garba Danbatta, EVC/CEO, NCC

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has called on stakeholders to intensify efforts to promote Nigeria’s Indigenous telecommunications sector.

This was made known by the Executive Vice President of NCC, Prof. Umar Danbatta during an event organized on Friday by the Policy Implementation Forum (PIAFo) in Lagos.

The event was themed “Establishing Trackable Metrics for Developing Nigeria’s Indigenous Telecoms Sector”.

Speaking on the development, Danbatta who was represented by Babagana Digima, Head of Nigeria Office for Developing the Indigenous Telecom Sector (NODITS), said the development of the indigenous telecommunications sector was vital for the growth of the country.

He said that the commission’s policy and regulatory framework had always laid emphasises on the development of effective local participation in the telecoms sector value chain.

Danbatta also said that the Federal Government had in 2021 launched a national policy for Promotion of Indigenous Content (NPPIC) spearheaded by the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, in recognition of the pertinent need to develop indigenous capacity in the telecom sector.

He said that to ensure the effective implementation of the NPPIC, the commission articulated several targets and high-impact interventions, which were Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based (SMART).

“We have not only identified a number of critical stakeholders in the industry, but we have engaged over 30 different entities ranging from MDAs, Mobile Network Operators and SIM manufacturers and mast manufacturers via Nigeria Office for Developing the Indigenous Telecom Sector.

“At a higher level, the commission had identified some time-based metrics for NPPIC which it classified into immediate, short-term, medium-term, and long-term items.

“Some of the activities include the creation of NODITS dedicated to guiding the policy, the constitution of the local content steering committee, and engagement with relevant internal and external stakeholders.

“Others include commissioning baseline studies on the level of indigenous content in the Nigerian telecoms industry, development of regulations, enforcement key performance Indicators, and methodologies,” Danbatta said.

He said that transforming the action points into metrics would not only streamline the implementation of the policy but also provide for a SMART system to show progress.

Danbatta said the commission was counting on the efforts of industry stakeholders, watchdogs, and partners to create independent metrics that would ensure the achievement of the goals of the NPPIC.

He said that NCC was delighted to note that some of the actions it implemented through NODITS had yielded fruits.

Mr. Omobayo Azeez, Lead Executive at PIAFo and Covener of the event, said that the telecommunications sector had unarguably become one indispensable economic enabler for the country and its people.

He said that in spite of the commendable trajectory, the sector remains grossly dependent on foreign inputs which at the end of every operating year resulted in capital flights in excess of 2.16 billion dollars.

Azeez said that when operators had to depend solely on foreign talents, solutions, equipment, and accessories, they would also have to deal with the hassle of accessing forex as one of the major problems.

“As such, operators and customers suffer and even our dear Naira is also at a receiving end as it continues to lose value,” he said.

Thereafter, he urged the Federal Government to use its NPPIC to reverse this trend, to enable the telecoms industry and the country to grow. (NAN)

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