The Centre for Information Technology and Development, CITAD, has enumerated was through which local content policy in the Information Communication and Technology, ICT, could accelerate the attainment of the objectives of the digital transformation agenda of the country.
This is contained in a communique signed by the Centreâ€™s Executive Director, Y. Z Yau and made available to ASHENEWS, at the end of a one-day webminar held on Local Content Policy in the ICT Sector, held on Wednesday
According to the communique, participants suggested that, to speed up the process of making Nigeria an ICT producing country that is globally competitive, â€œgovernment should streamline its tax system to relief small and medium enterprises from the burden of multiple taxation.â€
While suggesting that government should â€œlead in the campaign for the use of made in Nigeria ICT goods and services,â€ participants also advised â€œits agencies to patronize young innovators and developers to encourage them to grow and make the country globally competitive
â€œState governments should ensure that their MDAs are compliant with the Local Content Policy.
â€œThere is need to further sensitize both government MDAs and the wider society about the Local Content Policy in the ICTs
â€œTo ensure the realization of the objectives of National Digital Economy, governments should formulate and implement a National Digital Inclusion Agenda, to ensure that marginalized and vulnerable groups have access to affordable ICT goods and services, including digital skills and training.
â€œGovernment should clarify its polices to allow for community networks to take root and flourish in the country as an alternative means for connecting unconnected communities,â€ the communique reads.
According to the webminar, â€œestablishing a National Software Policy and Strategic Framework and enabling Act, is imperative to promote and secure national digital IP.â€
It also recommended that government develops 250,000 capacity of indigenous software engineering capacities annually; create 1,250,000 in five years as well as set up software engineering institutes.
â€œGovernments should create Software Development Clusters to grow employment opportunities for our Youth through the emerging Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), Digital Games and Work from Home employment opportunity windows all over the world.
â€œCreate merger and partnership incentives for Software SMEs and Startups to build large capacities for global competitiveness, reduce national Software IP flight and benefit Domestic economy.
â€œNITDA should develop and execute a Standard Level Agreement (SLA) with all MDAs for performance management.â€
Participant commended NITAD for the various initiatives it has put in place and implementing that are impacting positively in the ICT sector in the county.
â€œThese measures have led to increased consumption of local hardware in an unprecedented manner from annual sale of 113,814 in 2015 to 414,510 in 2018 and 364,376 in 2019 as well as facilitated patronage of indigenous software, amounting to over N3 billion through our regulatory local content guidelines and IT clearance,â€ the communique further reads.
The webminar was attended by more than 70 people from the ICT community in the country, to examine how the local content policy could be used to accelerate the attainment of the objectives of the digital transformation agenda of the country.
It was chaired by Prof. Adenike Osofisan, Provost, Nigeria Computer Society College of Fellows and Chair of the Computer Professional Registration Council of Nigeria (CPN).
While the Director General of NITDA, Mr. Inuwa Abdullah delivered the keynote address on Local Content Policy in ICT Sector as Key to Achieving the Objectives of the Digital Economy in Nigeria, Mr. Will Anyaegbunam, MD/CEO of Beta Computer Limited spoke on Responding to the Hardware Dimensions of the Local Content.
Mr. Chris Uwaje, pioneer president of the Institute of Software Practitioners of Nigeria spoke on Meeting the Software Component Challenge of Local Content in the Country, while Prof M. Ajiya, President of Digital Bridge Institute made presentation on Meeting the Skills Challenge for Effective Implementation of Local Content Policy in the ICT Sector.