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Telecoms: Local investments in SIM Cards production hit over N55bn –NCC

*Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of the Nigerian Communications Commission, at NTICE 2023 in Lagos, explains how the activation of local content policy in the telecoms sector has created business in excess of N55 billion for local SIM Card manufacturers besides direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians

Gbenga Kayode | ConsumerConnect

As part of efforts at activating the local content policy in the Telecommunications of the economy, Nigeria’s business investments in local manufacturing of Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) Cards reached about N55 billion.

ConsumerConnect reports Prof. Umar Garba Danbatta, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), disclosed this development Wednesday, August 23, 2023, at the 2023 Telecommunications Indigenous Content EXPO (NTICE 2023), in Lagos.

Danbatta,while addressing the audience at the second edition the event, said the West African country had been recording considerable achievements with the implementation of its local content policy in telecommunications  industry.

The Executive Vice-Chairman of the telecoms regulatory Commission explained since the Federal  Government banned importation of SIM Cards into Nigeria 2022, local production of the product had witnessed tremendous growth in terms of investment.

He also said: “This ban has not only eased the burden on our demand for Foreign Exchange, but has also created business in excess of N55 billion for the local SIM card manufacturers in Nigeria which in turn has created direct and indirect jobs.”

The NCC Chief further noted the Commission is fully committed to the Federal Government’s move to place the Nigerian economy on a sustainable pedestal through all the necessary policies put in place.

“We created the Nigeria Office for Development of Indigenous Telecoms Sector (NODITS) as a Special Purpose Vehicle under the Commission to drive the National Policy for Promotion of Indigenous Content in the Nigerian Telecommunications Sector in July 2021.”

According to him, the Office was given four areas of focus: Manufacturing, Human Capacity, Research & Development (R&D) and Software & Services development for the telecoms sector.

Danbatta related, that “I am happy to inform you that NTICE is one of the achievements of NCC through NODITS because it has served not only to promote Pillar number 5Sez (Strategic Partnering) of the Strategic Management Plan SMP 2020- 2024 of the Commission, but has also become the flagship indigenous content event for the industry.

“The Commission has also incentivised the manufacturing of Corrugated Optical Duct (COD) that will be used to protect our fibre infrastructure from the incessant cuts experienced by our service providers.”

The EVC/CEO stated: “The Commission is equally committed to continuously supporting Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and Innovators to promote our talented young persons and ventures through Angel Investments, R&D support, exposure to Investors and sponsorship of local and international tech events.

“Nigeria with its rich history of innovation, resilience, and creativity as well as our diverse culture, talents, and perspectives has birthed solutions that uniquely cater to our challenges and aspirations.”

The NTICE 2023 platform is a celebration of these achievements, a testament to the Nigerian spirit of ingenuity, stated he.

In describing the strategic importance of the initiative to the Nigerian economy, Danbatta said, “NTICE is also a place to nurture and support the burgeoning talent pool within Nigeria.

“By showcasing indigenous innovations and providing opportunities for young entrepreneurs, we are not only nurturing our local talents but also encouraging a culture of entrepreneurship and creativity that will propel Nigeria onto the global stage of technological leadership.

“Having recognised the persistent digital divide that exists within our nation, let us take the opportunities presented by NTICE 2023 to bridge this gap by advocating for accessible technology and ensuring that the benefits of innovation are extended to every corner of Nigeria.”

He added: “This inclusivity is crucial in driving equitable growth and empowering communities to be active participants in the digital revolution.”

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