If the plan of the
present administration for the Original Equipment Manufacturers, OEMs, in
Nigeria and other ICT product manufacturers is anything to go by, then the
future appears to belong to them, as the administration is poised at giving
them a competitive edge over their foreign competitors.
This followed a
resolution by stakeholders at the just concluded Local Content workshop
organised by the National Information and Technology Development Agency, NITDA
in Abuja, where concerned participants condemned the dominance of Nigerian ICT
market by foreign brands.
that for Nigeria to succeed no stone should be left unturned in giving the
needed protection to the local brands through the amendment of the law. The
purpose of the Local Content Act is to promote the indigenisation of Nigeria’s
ICT industry, implementation of local content but on the contrary, foreign
companies had taking advantage of obsolete policies and flooded the market with
Meanwhile, the Federal
Government at the workshop, said it is currently seeking to enact enabling laws
with the aim of criminalising non patronage of indigenous ICT brands, mainly by
MDAs and other relevant stakeholders.
The Minister of
Communications Technology, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, who stated this in his keynote
address at the event, said the Federal Government would be aggressive in
addressing this anomaly by prioritising Local Content development which is
geared towards ensuring that all the local OEMs partner with our local
operators to ensure backward integration.
Shittu, who frowned at
the dominance of the $39.7bn Nigerian ICT market by foreign brands, noted that
Nigeria was losing about $2.8billion annually to the continued importation of
ICT hardware and services, which he said is largely unsustainable amid revenue
constraints occasioned by the dwindling oil resources.
Shittu said: 2The
Original Equipment Manufacturers can buy components of their systems that are
produced by local manufacturers as well as maintain in-country research and
development departments for the purpose of product conceptualisation,
adaptation, and design and prototype development.
“The local content
development policy world be implemented to protect indigenous players in the
industry and the ministry would galvanise right policies that would see to the
needs of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)” he said.
In her goodwill
message, the Managing Director, OMATEK, Florence Seriki said the move would
address the issue of apathy towards the patronage of Nigeria ICT products,
thereby creating huge opportunities and enabling environment for the local ICT
industries to thrive and succeed in business.