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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Experts outline steps to grow local content

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) experts have outlined a number of steps to grow local content in the country.

Those who spoke at a one-day summit on local content organised by the umbrella body of telecommunications companies under the aegis of Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) held in Lagos, Friday agreed that there is a need to not only talk or strategise for local content but also harmonious collaboration of all stakeholders.

Some of those who spoke at the occasion with the theme “Nigerian Content Development in the ICT sector” included the President, Nigeria Internet Group (NIG), Mr. Lanre Ajayi, chief executive, Telecom Answer Associates, Mr. Titi Omo-Ettu, Director, Licensing at the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Mrs. Mary Uduma and President, Information Technology Association of Nigeria, Dr. Jimson Olufuye, among others.

Mrs. Uduma who also presided over the plenary session, she enjoined Nigerians to be awake to their responsibilities in terms of ensuring that what they contribute locally could match international standards.

She noted that though the environment could be challenging, but perseverance should be the watchword. She expressed the hope that better days are here only for those who contribute meaningfully to the growth of the sector and the economy

NIG President, Mr. Ajayi, highlighted the need to grow the human capacity to not only oversee the continuous growth of the local content, but also sustain the dream in the imperativeness of local content.

According to him, we could be developing local content, stressing that human capital would make it endearing to the industry and stakeholders.

He also noted that in empowering the human capital, a focus should be given to the youths in order to make them realise themselves through individual contributions on issues involving national growth of the country in its entirety.

Mr. Omo-Ettu emphasised the importance of constantly updating the educational curricular, especially at the higher institutional level in the country, with a view to optimising core ICT industry.

ITAN president, Dr. Olufuye campaigned for the involvement of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) to drive the local content development.

Equally commenting, ATCON president, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem assured that the summit would be communicated to the appropriate quarters in the government, adding, “the communiqué must be implemented with follow up and ATCON would work with other agencies both public and private to aid the industry to grow.”

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