Nigerian Communications Minister calls for more local content

Omobola Johnson, the Nigerian Minister for Communication Technology, used the platform at the eNigeria conference to call for production of more local content and the maximisation of ICT potential to achieve higher productivity, promote good governance and enable Nigeria to compete globally.

The sixth annual conference was titled ‘ICT Local Content Development in Nigeria’ and was held at the Abuja Conference and Exhibition.

It was also said Nigeria needs to become more committed to pursuing development if the nation’s desire to be among the world’s top 20 economies by 2020 is to be taken seriously.

Johnson said: “While we do not have detailed empirical evidence – we are currently working on gathering and collating data – it is clear to us that local content in the ICT industry is sub-optimal. ICT local content remains grossly under developed in Nigeria and through many reasons are adduced for this including the high cost of production and scarcity of expertise.

“The fact remains that there is an over dependence on foreign importation of software and hardware and this has led to diminished opportunity for domestic economic empowerment and contributed to limited capacity building within the context of ICT.”

The minister noted that the contributions of information technology to productivity cannot be underestimated and it requires continual growth with special emphasis on the local content developers.

In the first quarter of 2012, the minister said Nigeria’s ICT industry contributed about six percent to the nation’s GDP, making ICT the fourth highest contributor to GDP.

She also said the nation’s ICT sector is recording rapid growth, at the rate of about 30 percent annually, making it the fastest growing Nigerian economy sector. It also created two million jobs.

Posted in: Internet

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