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Thursday, February 28, 2008

ATCON plans summit on local content

Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON), would in the coming weeks host stakeholders to a summit on local content.

President, ATCON, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem gave this indication while briefing the press recently in Lagos.

He also said that the one-day stakeholders summit on Local Content Development in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector, is a focus to examine the challenges faced in developing local contents in the sector.

The summit will equally enable stakeholders to develop a position paper for a policy framework on local content development in the nation.

Dr. Ekuwem pointed out that ATCON feels strongly that local ICT infrastructure providers require some measure of protection against their multinational counterparts whose corporate strength could extinguish the local players.

Local hardware and software developers, he noted, must be given some kind of support to enable them grow, expand and continue to provide employment to millions of Nigerians.

“Thus helping to eradicate poverty in our land. It is envisaged that if government and other relevant institutions, like the financial institutions, do not provide adequate protection and support to our local ICT industrialists, they would be heading towards economic doom,” he warned.

In addition, he said that the summit would devise ways of encouraging the building of local database that would form the Nigerian content in the global ICT circuit.

“It has been established that Nigerians talk more than they write and this contributes to the low level of Nigerian content in the global cyberspace,” he noted.

Dr. Ekuwem who also is the executive vice chairman, Teledom Group International said that the trend has to change if the nation must take its rightful place in the world’s ICT reckoning.

He emphasized that highly intellectual speakers have been contacted to make presentations and contribute to discussions at the summit slated for end of March 2008.

ATCON, he said, is partnering with leading hardware and software providers as well as frontline banks and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) in hosting the event.

ATCON has also announced preparations for its Annual General Meeting (AGM) holding in April 2008, while top on the agenda at the forthcoming AGM would be the presentation of Annual Reports and 2007 Audited Accounts as well as election of officers into the National Executive Council (NEC).

Just as the current NEC tenure is due to expire in April shortly before the proposed date for the election.

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