By ADEDEJI ADEYEMI FAKOREDE
THE Federal Government has expressed its readiness to boost local content in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) sector in order to make it compete favourably in the global market.
Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, who disclosed this at a stakeholders’ forum in Abuja, observed that emphasis on local content has become very crucial in view of the dwindling government’s revenue and fall in oil price adding that local content has the capacity to increase GDP, create more jobs and encourage foreign investors to come in and invest in the country.
Shittu, who was represented by Director of ICT in the Ministry of Communications, Mrs. Monilola Udoh, noted that the country is focusing on diversifying its revenue sources away from crude oil and the ICT sector is critical in actualizing this objective.
He said: “Government has pledged to support ICT centres to enable more young people in the country to come up with great ideas to improve the sector. Presently, about eight per cent of the country’s GDP is contributed by ICT; the aim of the government is to improve it to about 30 per cent before the end of this administration by 2019.”
He promised that the government will help address the issues that affect the sector such as poor quality control, pricing, and quality of service and support of the private sectors to build world class data centres to create more jobs in the country.
In his address, the acting Director- General of NITDA, Dr. Vincent Olatunji, lamented the high consumption rate of imported goods in the country, noting that “it is time for us to start manufacturing some of these machines and better our economy rather than to export all the time.”