ASSOCIATION of Telecoms
Companies of Nigeria, ATCON, has
advocated that much-expected growth
in the Nigerian ICT Sector can only be
witnessed through closer international
cooperation and strategic collaboration
with a county like India that has
demonstrated its love for ICT and has
recorded a great feat in that regard.
ATCON president Olusola Teniola who
made the assertion at the Indo-Nigeria
summit held in Lagos, reaffirmed that
ICT is crosscutting and it is an enabler
for growth and development and will
address the Science and Technology
deficit noticeable in our economy as
well as providing maximum benefit
to the citizenry adding that the muchexpected
growth in the Nigerian ICT
Sector can only be witnessed through
closer international cooperation and
strategic collaboration with a county
like India that has demonstrated its love
for ICT and has recorded a great feat in
that regard.
Teniola bemoaned the structure of
Nigeria’s Telecommunications and ICT
sector which is not really beneficial to
Nigeria as a country in terms of foreign
exchange earnings because most of the
inputs in the sector are imported from

the developed countries and very little
value-add exported.
According to him, “If we really want
to pursue Nigerian Local Content
development vigorously as a nation with
the intention of increasing its impact on
our revenue we must devise a means
of producing some of those inputs
locally and creating more value add and
innovation on the remaining that we
cannot manufacture locally.
The liberalization of the sector has
attracted circa USD$68bn or more of
investments to the country to date. The
Office of the Nigeria Local Content (ONC)
under NITDA still needs to create the
opportunities for Nigeria’s ICT to develop
solutions tailored to the country’s citizens’
needs and then develop the local skills to
monetize the youth talent that is latent
in producing value-added ICT products
and services that can be exported to other
parts of Africa and the rest of the world.
“The ICT industry is further challenged
to reduce or eradicate the continuous
unemployment of the Nigerian youth
(both skilled and unskilled) as a matter
of utmost urgency and there is a need to
work out a collaborative agreement with
the aim of transferring some of India’s
technical know-how to Nigerians and we
pray that all relevant government agencies
in Nigeria will support this initiative as

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it would certainly accelerate as well
as give a boost to our local productive
capacity,” he stated.
On the benefit of collaborating with
India, Teniola said that it would help
reduce the number of Nigerians who
are unemployed as this would make
them to have the required and needed
knowledge to be gainfully employed
in the telecom and ICT sector as well as
give Nigerians the opportunity to take
part in dispensing critical skills and
knowledge over the next decades
He said that the effective pursuance
of local content would ultimately
result in reduction in the cost of
production because there would be less
dependency on international currencies
as the majority of services rendered
would be our local currency (in Naira)
adding that the success of Local Content
drive in the Telecom and ICT in Nigeria
would accelerate the progress of the
sector.
The ATCON President however said
that the planned strategic collaboration
with India can only become successful
if these steps are religiously adhered
to; Draw up a plan to comprehensively
develop the ICT sector ATCON noted
that since the inauguration of the Office

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of the Nigeria Local Content
(ONC), there has been very
little or no noticeable activity
to drive the guidelines that
were published back in 2013.
ATCON would like NCC
and ONC to come up with
concrete short and longterm
implementable plans in
partnership with India.
Establishment of ICT Park
The Nigerian Government
should encourage India
should pool managerial and
technical resources together
for the establishment of an ICT
Park in Nigeria. The ICT Park
would be given the mandate
to encourage the production of
some ICT inputs like switches,
router, and mobile phone
repairs/assembly with some of
our ATCON members that are
already active in this space

Educational Policies must be
Refocused
Today in Nigeria, the number
of people who want to study
science related courses are small
(and in most cases reducing) in
relation to students who want
to study commercial or social
science related courses. The
trend painted above can never
solve our challenges, therefore,
we need to begin to redirect the
focus of students on the need to
study science related courses.
The Federal Government should
make studying of science courses
interesting by providing a
conducive learning environment
and state of art laboratory
equipment for students with
a view to encouraging local
content policy.
Government should Increase
the Budget of ICT
The Federal Government
should begin to focus more

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on other alternative means of
generating income and their
focus should be on increasing
government spending and
budget allocation to funding
the ICT sector for the purpose of
making its products and services
exportable, thereby allowing
it to contribute to our foreign
earnings.
Enactment of Appropriate ICT
Policies
In order for the ICT sector to
supplement or replace the Oil
and Gas sector, strong policy
frameworks which favour the
sector must be put in place. It
should be emphasized that the
petroleum industry which used
to be the cash cow for our nation
(from a foreign exchange earning
perspective) is not doing so well
right now and this is a global
issue. Already several countries
in more advanced economies
have declared that from 2030,
use of hydrocarbons to run their
vehicles will be significantly
reduced or stopped. The direct
implication of this is that we may
not be able to finance our budget
without resulting to further
government borrowing. ICT can
as a matter of fact serve as the
new cash cow for the country
provided the right polices are
put in place.
He said that with all the
proposed interventions shared
and solutions being put in place,
we can safely say that the ICT
sector will contribute more
significantly to our nation’s GDP
with India’ support.
Teniola therefore sought
the cooperation and strategic
collaboration with India to
organize some important local
content driven programmes
that would accelerate our local
content with respect to the ICT
sector.


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