The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Wednesday said that promoting indigenous content would foster the nation’s economic growth and also assert its autonomy and self-reliance in the digital realm.
The Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, made this statement in his keynote address at the 2nd edition of the Nigerian Telecommunications Indigenous Content Expo (NTICE) in Lagos.
The annual NTICE is an initiative of the NCC’s Nigerian Office for Developing the Indigenous Telecoms Sector.
This year’s edition is a three-day conference and expo, and has the theme: “Harnessing Indigenous Content for Economic Growth: Networking to Boost Investment.”
Danbatta said that NTICE was a place to nurture and support the burgeoning talent pool within Nigeria as well as bridging the digital gap.
According to the EVC, represented by the Executive Commissioner, Technical Services, NCC, Mr Ubale Maska, by showcasing indigenous innovations and providing opportunities for young entrepreneurs, NODITS is nurturing local talents.
He added that it was also encouraging a culture of entrepreneurship and creativity that would propel Nigeria onto the global stage of technological leadership.
“Having recognised the persistent digital divide that exists within our nation, let us seize the opportunities presented by NTICE 2023 to bridge this gap by advocating for accessible technology and ensuring that the benefits of innovation are extended to every corner of Nigeria.
“This inclusivity is crucial in driving equitable growth and empowering communities to be active participants in the digital revolution,’’ Danbatta said.
He noted that, in a world that was increasingly interconnected and digital, the concept of technological sovereignty held immense significance.
The EVC said that this event stood as a beacon of Nigeria’s commitment to taking charge of its technological sovereignty.
The Team Lead, NODITS, NCC, Engr. Babagana Digima, said that the event was to celebrate the rich tapestry of ideas, talents, and innovations that defined the Nigeria’s telecom industry.
Digima noted that the event stood as a testament to the commitment to fostering homegrown solutions that not only drove economic prosperity but also propelled towards a future brimming with endless possibilities.
“In an era where connectivity is the backbone of progress, where the digital realm intertwines with every facet of our lives, our nation’s telecoms industry stands as a beacon of advancement.
“It is not just about communication, but about empowerment, education, healthcare, commerce, and beyond.
“As we gather here today, we recognise that the key to unlocking these immense potential lie in our ability to harness the wealth of indigenous content, to leverage our unique perspectives and talents, and to channel them towards the greater good.
“This expo is not just a congregation of like-minded individuals; it’s a nexus of innovation and creativity. It’s a platform where ideas are exchanged, partnerships are forged, and collaborations are born.
“It’s a space where the synergy of diverse minds transforms into actionable strategies that will propel us towards new horizons of economic growth and sustainable development,’’ the NODITS boss said.
In his address, Engr. Gbenga Adebayo, the President, Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria (ALTON), said that the telecoms industry had been supportive of the growth of local content in many areas.
He said some of such areas of support are in call centres, manufacturing of SIM cards among others.
Adebayo pledged continuous support for local content development, while also raising concerns of the “Japa syndrome” as it affected the industry.
He said that the industry was losing its brightest hands to the syndrome, adding that these could not be stopped because there was no provision to sufficiently engage the young brains profitably.
The ALTON boss said that the industry would, however, seek for ways for their repatriation, if not physically but remotely.
He also urged the Federal Government to implement ‘Work for Nigeria’ or ‘Work in Nigeria’ policies as a way to fight for the return of our bright brains to the country. (NAN)