SystemSpecs, has called for the harmonisation of local content policies across all sectors.
SystemSpecs’ Director, Deremi Atanda, stated 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.
Experts had also emphasised the role of a strong and pragmatic local content policy in value creation. While the idea of local content policy originated from the oil and gas industry, there have been calls for its application across the economy.
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 per cent local content in the industry and requires all ICT companies to register Nigerian entities with predominant Nigerian representation.
While commending the NCDMB for providing the basis for the Local Content Act, Atanda highlighted the numerous opportunities it presents, 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).
“Another area of benefit is in building capacity to 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,” said Atanda.
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, and added that, “this speaks to our need for defence hardware and infrastructure.”
Lastly, Atanda called for the effective enforcement of the Local Content Act to ensure strict compliance.
Atanda spoke on the third day of the conference during a panel session to deliberate on the extension of the Nigerian content legislation to the Information and Communications Technology (ICT), power, construction, defence, equipment and agriculture sectors of the economy.
Other panellists at the session included Senator Teslim Folarin, Senate Chairman, Local Content Committee, and Funke Opeke, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of MainOne.
SystemSpecs is one of the oldest, longstanding technology firms in Nigeria and a leading provider of financial and human capital technology solutions and services. Its products include Remita, a payment solution platform, and HumanManager, a human capital management solution.