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SystemSpecs: Nigeria needs to harmonise local content policies

SystemSpecs has called for the harmonisation of local content policies across all sectors in Nigeria.

Deremi Atanda, SystemSpecs’ director, said this at the 10th Practical Nigerian Content Conference hosted by the National Content Development and Management Board (NCDMB) virtually and on-site in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state.

Atanda emphasised the role of a strong and pragmatic local content policy in value creation.

Noting that the idea of local content policy originated from the oil and gas industry, he said there have been calls for its application across the economy.

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“In 2014, the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) released guidelines on Nigerian content development in ICT. The policy seeks to achieve a target of 50 percent local content in the industry and requires all ICT companies to register Nigerian entities with predominant Nigerian representation,” Atanda said.

The director also commended the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) for providing the basis for the Local Content Act.

He further highlighted the numerous opportunities it presented, including extending skills for indigenous players to compete beyond the country’s shores as the African continent is becoming an economic bloc with the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).

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He added that it would attract foreign earnings and foreign direct investment (FDI) to Nigeria as more indigenous firms will upscale capacity and export innovations.

“Therefore, right at the heart of this proposed bill is a realisation of the Nigerian vision of taking responsibility for building a successful nation by leveraging our capacity,” Atanda said.

He challenged stakeholders to focus on developing indigenous capacity at various levels while questioning why Nigeria would be looking up to other countries for vaccination.

“Another aspect where local content will be of immense benefit is defence”, the tech expert said.

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“This speaks to our need for defence hardware and infrastructure.”

Atanda also called for the effective enforcement of the Local Content Act to ensure strict compliance.

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