The executive vice chairman (EVC), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta, has urged the Nigeria Office for Developing the Indigenous Telecom Sector (NODITS) on the need to ensure effective delivery of its mandates for the promotion of indigenous contents in the nation’s telecoms sector.
Danbatta made this call in his keynote address delivered at a two-day brainstorming and team-building session organised by NODITS’ team in Abuja, saying the office was very critical to the effective mainstreaming of local content development in the nation’s burgeoning telecoms sector.
NODITS is a special purpose vehicle (SPV) designed to stimulate the creation and development of top-quality indigenous content in the telecommunication sector. Its creation on July 5, 2021 and its siting in the commission was sequel to the signing of the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Telecommunication Sector (NPPIC) by the president in March 2021.
Represented at the event by the director, human capital and administration, NCC, Usman Malah, Danbatta said the development of NPPIC, facilitated by the Minister for Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Pantami, is essentially aimed at driving the desire of the current administration and the NCC to ensure that Nigerians become more active participants in the nation’s telecoms sector.
Speaking on management’s expectations from NODITS, the EVC said, as an SPV under the purview of the commission, NODITS would be expected to get involved in the development of new guidelines and regulations bordering on indigenous content, local manufacturing of telecom equipment, outsourcing services, construction and lease of telecoms ducts, succession planning in the telecoms sector, among others.
Also, he implored the NODITS team to adhere to regulatory and ethical principles held in high esteem by the management of NCC.
“The commission’s dedication to maintaining high standards, ethical conduct, and superior performance is a priority of the management; hence, by extension, NODITS should reflect the established values, guiding principles, strategic awareness and the goodwill associated with the NCC,” he said.
Besides, the EVC said NODITS would be involved in working with various stakeholders towards reducing capital flight, as local manufacturers would be encouraged to participate in the design and manufacturing of devices. This vision will also ensure that manpower requirements towards making indigenes active participants in Nigeria’s telecoms development are met.
“In essence, NODITS will be expected to initiate strategic programmes and projects that will stimulate the growth of the telecoms sector through an approach that is visionary, focused, sustainable and based on incentives to indigenous telecom stakeholders,” he added.
In his presentation, the NODITS team lead, Babagana Digima, highlighted the mission and vision of the office, as he underscored the progress so far recorded by the team in the five months of its existence.
He said the office’s mission is “to deliver on the objectives of the National Policy for the Promotion of Indigenous Content in the telecom industry and the Executive Orders 003 & 005”, coupled with its vision to “harmoniously integrate indigenous content in the Nigerian telecoms sector”.
Executive Order 003 mandates all the ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to always grant preference to local manufacturers of goods and service providers for procurement; while Executive Order 005 seeks the promotion of Nigerian content in contracts bordering on science, engineering and technology.
Digima itemised some of the activities being carried out by NODITS within the last five months of its creation, vis; formation of a collaboration with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), visitations to various subscriber identification module (SIM) manufacturers, engagements with mobile network operators (MNOs), ongoing training of 60 young entrepreneurs, developing industry-relevant proposals for incentivising Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies by the Federal Government, among others.
A statement by the NCC’s director of public affairs, Dr. Ikechukwu Adinde, said the office has identified partners it would be collaborating with towards achieving its mandates. They include the NCC, NITDA, Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Industrial Training Fund (ITF), National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC), Nigerian Exports Zones Processing Authority (NEZPA), Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) and the Ajaokuta Steel Company (ASC).