The Director General, National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), Dr. Kashifu Abdullahi, has said that proper regulation of indigenous content development and adoption is one of the strategic pillars transforming Nigeria’s economy, as well as putting the country on the right tract to achieving Digital Economy.
Abdullahi stated this Thursday at a webinar on Local Content Policy in the ICT Sector with the theme: “Local Content Policy in the ICT Sector as Key to Achieving Objectives of the Digital Economy in Nigeria”, organised by the Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) in collaboration with NITDA and Speedstar.
He stated that in August, 2020, NITDA updated the Guidelines for Nigerian Content Development in ICT to align with the two issued executive orders 003 and 005, which led to enforcing compliance with all local content policy in IT projects through the agency’s IT project clearance mandate.
“Through our modest efforts we have transformed the landscape and stimulated demand for made in Nigeria ICT products and services. Our policies have increased the 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.
“We also facilitated patronage of indigenous software, amounting to over 3 billion naira through our regulatory local content guidelines and IT clearance,” he said.
He stated that the Local Content Policy in the ICT sector under the purview of the agency has played a crucial role in increasing the consumption of local content, placing policies on the use of local content items in the various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) across the country.
According to him, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, has given a special priority to the diversification through strengthening of our indigenous content and local production with the motive to boost the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“In 2015 the country’s economy was down due to the fall in oil price crash, a team of experts was setup to develop policy for the government to diversify our economy, which gave birth to Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017 – 2020.
“The Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) is a medium term plan for 2017 – 2020, for the purpose of restoring economic growth, building a globally competitive economy and accelerating inclusive growth by investing in our people the nation’s most priceless assets. The policy also identified Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as the key enabler,” he added.
The federal government issued two Executive Orders 003 in May, 2017 to support procurements of local content products and services by MDAs, while Executive Order 005 was issued in February, 2018 to promote Nigerian content in planning, execution of projects and contracts in science engineering and technology respectively.